Munawar Zarif

Munawar Zarif (Urdu: منور ظریف‎) (25 December 1940 – 29 April 1976) was a Pakistani film actor and comedian. His fans named him Shahenshah-e-Zarafat (Urdu: شہنشاہِ ﻇﺮﺍﻓﺖ‎), meaning The Emperor of Humor or the King of Humor.[7][1] He was one of the most popular and highest paid actors of 1970s and is considered one of the greatest comedians of South Asia.[8][9]

Munawar Zarif
منور ظریف
Munawar Zarif Ajj Da Mehinwal.jpg
Munawar Zarif in 1973
Muhammad Munawar

25 December 1940[1]
Died29 April 1976(1976-04-29) (aged 35)
Resting placeBibi Pak Daman Cemetery, Lahore, Pakistan
Other namesShahenshah-e-Zarafat (Urdu: شہنشاہِ ﻇﺮﺍﻓﺖ)
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1961–1976[1]
Spouse(s)Bilquis Khanum
Children3, including Faisal Munawar Zarif[2]
RelativesZarif (brother)[3]
Munir Zarif (brother)[4]
Rasheed Zarif (brother)[5]
Majeed Zarif (brother)[6]
AwardsNigar Awards

Early life and careerEdit

Munawar Zarif was born on 25 December 1940 in Gujranwala, Punjab.[1] He started his film career with a Punjabi film Dandian (1961). His breakthrough film was 1964's Hath Jori. After starting as a comedian, he was promoted to playing second leads starting with the film Parday Mein Rehnay Do (1973). Subsequently, he was cast as the lead actor in films such as Banarsi Thug (1973) and Jeera Blade (1973). Possibly his most popular role was in 1974's Naukar Wohti Da, which became a runaway hit.[10] He received his first Nigar Award in "Special Award" category for his performance in Ishaq Deewana (1971). He won the Nigar Award in the "Best Comedian" category for Baharo Phool Barsao (1972) and Zeenat (1975). He appeared in more than 300 films in the span of just 15 years from 1961–76.[11] He was well-known for his Ad-Lib dialogue delivery.

Personal lifeEdit

Munawar Zarif was younger brother of popular comedian Zarif. He was lifelong friend of fellow comedian Ali Ejaz.[12] His son Faisal Munawar Zarif debuted as an actor with films like Puttar Munawar Zarif da and Putter Jeerey Blade da, but he couldn't find success. He died on August 20, 2019 in Morocco.[2]


Zarif's grave at BiBi Pakdaman graveyard Lahore

Zarif's family announced his death in Pakistan, on 29 April 1976. He died in Lahore due to Cirrhosis of the liver.[13][14] He was laid to rest at Bibi Pak Daman Cemetery, Lahore.[15][9] Tens of thousands turned out to mourn Zarif, and organisers had to issue a misleading statement about the time of funeral.[16]


Munawar Zarif is often regarded as one of the greatest comedians ever in Pakistani films.[11] Fellow comedian and friend Ali Ejaz recalled his ability to improvise lines on the spot and called him an 'extempore' comedian.[17] Radio Pakistan Multan programme manager Asif Khan Khaitran reminisced about the success of Munawar Zarif and said: "There was a time in his career when writers would develop script with Munawar Zarif's personality in mind."[18] Comedian Umer Shareef called him "Mount Everest" of comedy and said that "for attaining fame in the field of comedy one must follow Munwer Zareef’s School of thought."[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1961 Dandiyan
1964 Haath Jori Beeru
1965 Malangi
1966 Bharia Mela
1967 Imam Din Gohavia Shamaulu
1968 Bau Jee
1969 Diya Aur Toofan Abdullah


Year Title Role Notes
1970 Heer Ranjha Saida Khera
Rangeela Josheela
1971 Dil Aur Duniya Parwana
Ishq Deevana Maqbool "Qoola" Ahmed Special Nigar Award
1972 Baharo Phool Barsao Mirza Nigar Award for Best Comedian
1973 Ziddi Shaadi
Parday Mein Rehnay Do Qurban
Ajj Da Mehinwal Izzat "Izzy" Baig
Banarsi Thug Sheeda
Khushia Khushi
Rangeela Aur Munawar Zarif Munawar Zarif / Khan Bahadur Ishtiaq Ali
Jeera Blade Shafqat / Jeera Blade
1974 Manji Kithay Dahwan Rahmat
Naukar Wohti Da Bhola / Munawar
Chakkarbaz Iqbal "Baala" Hassan
Hasday Aao Hasday Jao Mhanna
1975 Pyar Ka Mousam Munawar
Zeenat Shaukat Nigar Award for Best Comedian
Sharif Badmash Misrri
Shararat Sherwani
Sheeda Pastol Sheeda Pastol / Jeeda Double role
Shoukan Melay Di Bahadar
1976 Hukam Da Ghulam Jani
Jano Kapatti Jano / Jani
Anjaam Khaleel
Ustad Shagird Jani
Chitra Tay Shera Boota Singh
Badtameez Afzal
Reshma Tay Shera Jimmy

Awards and honoursEdit

Nigar Awards

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Munawar Zarif remembered The News International (newspaper), Published 30 April 2018, Retrieved 5 August 2018
  2. ^ a b "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Faisal Munawar Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  3. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  4. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Munir Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  5. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Rasheed Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  6. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Majeed Zarif". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  7. ^ "'Remembering Munawwar Zarif', Profile and obituary". ARY News. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News".
  9. ^ a b 39th death anniversary of Munawar Zarif today Dunya News, Published 29 April 2015, Retrieved 5 August 2018
  10. ^ "9 Most Iconic Films in the History Of Pakistani cinema". 17 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b Profile and filmography of Munawar Zarif on website Retrieved 5 August 2018
  12. ^ "Comedian Ali Ejaz passes away". Dawn. Pakistan. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  13. ^ "In memory of comedian Munawar Zarif on his 42nd death anniversary | Pakistan Today".
  14. ^ "Remembering Munawar Zareef". 29 April 2015.
  15. ^ In memory of comedian Munawar Zarif on his 42nd death anninversary Pakistan Today (newspaper), Published 29 April 2018, Retrieved 5 August 2018
  16. ^ "Khadim Rizvi's funeral one of biggest in Lahore's history".
  17. ^ "Dunya News Special Documentary on Munwar Zareef".
  18. ^ "Munawar Zarif Left an Indelible Impression on Film Industry".
  19. ^ "Remembering Munawar Zareef who had a unique comic disposition". 29 April 2021.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Nigar Awards (1972 - 1986)". The Hot Spot Online website. 5 January 2003. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2020.

External linksEdit