Zia Mohyeddin, who was born into a family of scholars and aesthetes, is an actor, narrator, producer, director and television broadcaster. He has appeared in both Pakistani and British cinema throughout his career. He was born
Zia Mohyeddin, who was born into a family of scholars and aesthetes, is an actor, narrator, producer, director and television broadcaster. He has appeared in both Pakistani and British cinema throughout his career. He was born on 20 June 1933 in Faisalabad, in an Urdu speaking family. He received his early education in Karachi.
He then went on to the famed Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, UK in 1953. He was trained there until 1956 and soon after began a successful career. After stage roles in Long Day's Journey into Night and Julius Caesar, he made his West End debut in A Passage to India in 1960. He made his film debut in Lawrence of Arabia in 1961, playing the role of Tafas ‘the Arab guide’ who is shot by Omar Sharif for drinking water from the wrong well'. He then made numerous TV and film appearances, and starred as Dr Aziz in the 1965 BBC television version of A Passage to India.
He returned to Pakistan in the 1960s, hosting the Zia Mohyeddin show on PTV. He set up the PIA Arts and Dance Academy the following decade. The arts academy toured the world and performed at the Madison Square Garden and for Queen Elizabeth II. However after difficulties with the Gen. Ziaul Haq's regime, which effectively banned the arts in the 1980s, Mohyeddin once again, left for London.
During the 1980s Zia worked in Birmingham, Great Britain, where he produced Central Television's flagship multicultural programme ‘here and now’. He resumed his acting career in Europe, appearing in small roles in various films and television programs. He has since travelled the world giving Urdu poetry and prose recitations.
In February 2005, President Pervez Musharraf invited Mohyeddin to act as Chairman of the new National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi. Despite his growing age, Zia is still active among Pakistani media as a speaker and hosts several TV programs both for National and Private Channels. He is also involved in narrating some abstract short films and commercials