15 years ago, Pakistan lost a great name from the world of theatre. It was in 1953 that the great Latif Kapadia entered the world of acting, with the guidance of Meherji and Pervaiz Dastur.
Almost half a century later, he was still performing when he lost his life in a cardio-respiratory arrest on 29th March 2002.
The formation of Avante-Garde Arts Theatre in 1957 was the next big phase of Latif Kapadia’s successful career, as a stage actor. With hits like ‘Qissa Jagtay Sotay Ka’, ‘Ek Din ka Sultan’ and ‘Phir Bhi Hum Jeetay Rahay’, there was no going back to his former profession of a banker.
Next, his collaboration with the director, Ali Ahmed was another feather in his cap. Their play ‘Sheeshay ke Admi’ garnered commercial success and its adaptation on television in 1967 marked Kapadia’s debut on the small screen. After that, a string of dramas followed; ‘Baarish’, ‘Barzakh’, ‘Gurez’, ‘Nadan Nadia’, ’50/50′ and a film called ‘Very Good Dunya, Very Bad Log’.
Latif Kapadia was always on the lookout for roles that broke his stereotypical image.
He chose roles that gave him a chance to display his versatility, as he donned various shades of characters. Whether it was that of a disabled man in Arif Waqar’s ‘Barzakh’ or that of a villain in ‘Sitara Aur Mehrunissa’, even a cameo as a roadside Romeo in ‘Parchayan’ became one of his memorable performances.
It did not matter if the role was big or small, Latif Kapadia’s delightful screen presence always stole the show.
This is the reason why in 2001 he received the ‘Pride of Performance’ award for his outstanding work for the Pakistan theatre.
Apart from his accomplishments on stage, it was his heart of gold and commitment to work and the people around him alike, that made him such an endearing personality.
Anwar Maqsood said in an interview:
Latif was a committed man. He was dedicated to his family and his friends. I don’t know of many people who have retained their friends for so many years, or rather decades. I happened to be one of them and I feel quite proud of it.
His humanitarian spirit still lives on in the form of Latif Kapadia Memorial Welfare Trust that was built in 2007.
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