On 19th July, we celebrate the birthday of Pakistan’s leading filmstar Nadeem Baig, the man who has the lengthiest of careers in Pakistani cinema and someone every other actor wants to emulate. Since 1967, he has been acting in quality films, working with the best leading ladies, directors, and inspiring youngsters around the world. However, this year we will look at eleven facts about Nadeem that only his die-hard knew about. Time to find out if you are one of them or not!
1-Nadeem made his debut as a singing hero!
Nadeem’s debut in films was a different one; till then only renowned actresses (mainly Noor Jehan) used to playback for themselves (in Urdu films) but this young Karachi lad changed the equation. Not only did he play a character that becomes a successful singer in his first film, he sang one song despite the presence of Ahmed Rushdi and Mujeeb Alam in the movie’s credits. The song Kahan Ho Tum Ko was a duet with Firdousi Begum, composed by Robin Ghosh and appeared as a tandem Kabhi To Tum Yaad Aayenge in the film, sung by Ahmed Rushdi.
2-He also did playback singing for others
Not only that, Nadeem once even rendered a song for fellow actor Qavi Khan in the film Mr. Buddho (1973), The song 'Kitne Ashq Piye Hain' also featured one of the most successful playback singers of the era, Ahmed Rushdi and Mala, and while they sang for Rangeela and Deeba, Nadeem started the song on Qavi, and surprised his fans.
3-He has not always been on the right side!
Being a versatile actor, Nadeem always didn’t end up playing the good guy; in three films his character had shades of grey. These films included the multi-starrer Shama followed by Samaj and Suhaag. In Samaj he was the guy who flirted with women and left them after assaulting them, whereas in Suhaag he played Shamim Ara’s vengeful ex, who lost his girl to Zia Mohyeddin.
4-He was the first Pakistani actor to make inroads in India
Long before Ali Zafar, Mikaal Zulfiqar and Mahira Khan made it to Bollywood, there was Nadeem and if you didn’t know that he worked in an Indian film, then now you do. The superstar from Pakistan played Tony, an angry Young Man in Door Desh also known as Gehri Chot in the early 80s and was the main antagonist opposite Raj Babbar. Not only was the Bangladeshi actress Babita his leading lady but he also shared the screen with the beautiful Parveen Babi, and showed her character that men from Pakistan are smart, handsome, and sexy. The film also featured Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, and David who were no small actors in Bollywood.
5-He played Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan to triple role
Long before Dilip Kumar played three roles in Bairaag in the late 70s or Amitabh Bachchan repeated the feat in Mahaan in the early 80s, Nadeem played as many as three characters in Jaltay Sooraj Kay Neechay. The film was one of his last films produced in East Pakistan in the early 70s where he played three characters, and also romanced with as many leading ladies.
6-Nadeem produced just two films in his career
Although he has been around for over 50 years, Nadeem has produced just two films - Mitti Kay Putlay in 1974 and Punjabi film Mukhra in 1988. He played the main lead in both the films but due to the decline in cinema standard, he didn’t produce anything ever again. However, this Mukhra song went on to become a chart-buster!
7-He acted with Shabnam in over 50 films
Nowhere in the world have two unrelated actors worked together for so long; Nadeem and Shabnam worked in over 50 films between 1968 and 1997. Although their first film together was Suroor Barabankvi’s Tum Mere Ho and last was Aulad Ki Qasam, their hit parade began from Nazeen two years later and ended with Awargi in 1995. Tum Mere Ho couldn’t do well at the box office while Aulad Ki Qasam isn’t eligible because it was a bilingual film. In between, they acted in some of the most memorable films including Ehsas, Mann Ki Jeet, Badal Aur Bijli, Dilllagi, Do Badan, Sharafat, Jagir, Bandish, Dehleez, Qurbani, Kamyabi, and Faisla. However, their biggest hit was Aina that remains one of the most popular films ever produced in the country.
8-Worked with most international artists
How many actors do you know in Pakistan who has worked with a Sri Lankan, Nepali, Turkish, Bangladeshi, Indian and Indonesian actors during their film career. Nadeem has been around for so long that he has managed to do act opposite Nazan Sachi from Turkey in a couple of films, besides Indonesian actress Diana Christina in Bandish, Nepali actor Shiva and Sushma Shahi in multiple flicks, Shabana and Babita in a few films even after the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, Indian actors Raj Babbar and Parveen Babi besides Sri Lankan beauty Sabeeta in a handful of movies.
9-He is the most copied Pakistani actor in India
What would you say if I told you that Nadeem’s Aina was a mixture of four Indian films yet India copied it later thinking it was an original movie! Yes, that’s what happened with Nadeem not once or twice but on many occasions. While Aina became Pyar Jhukta Nahi, Qurbani became Adhikaar, Meherbani became Alag Alag and Faisla became Paap Ki Duniya. These are the few films that went onto become successful in India, otherwise, there are many more that didn’t do well and hence are not worth mention. Be it Rajesh Khanna, Sunny Deol, Mithun Chakraborty or Rishi Kapoor, top actors had to play a character that was immortalized by Nadeem long before they were offered the role.
10-He worked with every actor of his generation
They say that Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon has worked with every actor in the industry but I believe that since Nadeem has had a lengthier career, he hasn’t missed any actor. From Waheed Murad, Mohammad Ali, Shahid, Ghulam Mohiuddin and Jawed Sheikh from the 1960s to the 1980s to Shaan, Humayun Saeed, Moammar Rana, Ahsan Khan, Faysal Quraishi, and Bilal Ashraf, he has shared the screen with all. In fact, he lip-synced a song with Bilal Ashraf in Superstar that went onto become a box office hit in 2019.
11-He has been part of two generations on a number of occasions
And that’s not all, Nadeem has been around for over five decades and that’s why he has worked with both the sons and daughters of his male and female costars. While he had worked with Waheed Murad in a good number of films, he was also part of his son Adil Murad’s comeback venture Chain Aye Na that also united him with Behroz Sabzwari, whose son Shahroz played the main lead in the film and shared scenes with the veteran actor. Be it Sabiha Khanum or her granddaughter Sarish Khan, Nisho or her daughter Sahiba, Neelo and her son Shaan, Rahat Kazmi and his son Ali Kazmi, Zeba Bakhtiar, Adnan Sami Khan or their son Azaan, Sultan Rahi and his son Haider Sultan, Jawed Shiekh, and Shehzad Sheikh, Asma Abbas or her daughter Zara Noor Abbas, Mustafa Qureshi and his son Aamir Qureshi, late Tariq Shah and his son Babrik Shah, Sweetie and her daughter Janan Malik followed by Asif Khan and Arbaaz Khan, Nadeem has shared the screen with both the parent and their offspring in films. If that’s not an achievement, I don’t know what is!