Legendary comedian Umer Sharif passed away in Germany on Saturday after battling serious health problems. He was 66.
The news was confirmed by Dr Mohammed Faisal, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Germany who sent out a tweet in tribute of the comedy legend.
“With deep sorrow it is announced that Mr. Umer Sharif has passed away. In #Germany. Our deepest condolences to hie family and friends. Our CG is present at the hospital to assist the family in every way,” he posted.
As soon as news broke of Sharif’s death, actors from Pakistan and India took to social media to convey their condolences to the family.
Pakistani author Nadeem Farooq Paracha paid a touching tribute to Sharif on Twitter. “One of the sharpest wits in Pakistan Umer Sharif, is no more. He rose from a humble background in Karachi to become a giant in his field. His punchy, ‘awami’ [popular] style of comedy influenced numerous comedians, not only in Pakistan but also in India. May his soul rest in peace.”
Actor-singer Ali Zafar also paid tribute to the legend, tweeting: “Complete loss of words on passing away of the legendary Umar Sharif sahab. May Allah grant him the highest place in Jannah and give his family peace. Ameen.
Actress Saba Qamar also paid tribute on social media. “Saddened to learn about the passing of Umer Shareef Saab. Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him we return. My deepest condolences to His family and Fans,” she posted.
In India, comedian-actor Kapil Sharma also took to social media to pay tribute to the star. “Alvida legend. May your soul Rest In Peace.”
Last month, Sharif, who had been under treatment at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Karachi after falling seriously ill, released a video where he appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan for support in his medical treatment.
The plea prompted the Sindh government to release Rs 44 million to arrange an air ambulance and other financial assistance to get him urgent treatment abroad.
On Tuesday, an air ambulance transporting the comedian left the Karachi International Airport for the United States for treatment. His wife Zareen Ghazal had accompanied him. In the US, renowned cardiologist Dr Tariq Shahab, who is also husband of famous Pakistani film actress Reema Khan, was to treat Sharif in Washington DC.
The plane was to stop in Germany for refueling where Sharif’s health deteriorated further.
Sharif, known as the King of Comedy, underwent a bypass procedure last year but his condition deteriorated.
When videos and pictures of an ailing Sharif were shared earlier this month on social media, many celebrities and politicians pushed for the government to step in for his treatment.
Sharif gained unparalleled popularity in the 1980s and ’90s in India and Pakistan as a comedian, actor, director, producer and stage artist. He also visited India many times to participate in award ceremonies and shows.
The actor, who started his career at 14 with stand-up comedy, has worked in around 60 stage comedies, and other television shows and also produced, directed and acted in two big movies.
He became a rage when he turned to host late-night shows on television.
In 1989-90, two of his comedy stage plays ‘Bakra Qiston Pe’ and ‘Buddha Ghar Pe Hai’ were bumper box office hits in Pakistan and India, while his film ‘Mr 420’ is regarded as one of the most successful films ever made in Pakistan