Early AgeKhayyam had it in his genes to become an entertainer par excellence. His maternal grandfather, Rafiq Ghaznavi, was a musician and since his parents were writers, he was into showbiz from an early age. When the Ayub Khan regime imprisoned his father for his political views, the young Khayyam was packed off to the United States to study. From there, he received his Masters degree in cinematography and he travelled through Europe making documentaries before returning to Pakistan in the ’70s, after the death of his mother.
About FamilyKhayyam Sarhadi’s father, Zia Sarhadi, the famous writer-director-lyricist, had Indian classics Hum Log (1951), Baiju Bawra (1952), Footpath (1953) and Awaaz (1956) to his credits as a writer, lyricist and director, whereas he wrote Laakhoon Mein Aik in Pakistan. Carrying the Sarhadi legacy was a challenge for Khayyam who made his debut in the ’70s.
Early CareerOnce back home, Khayyam did some theatre before he was picked up by noted TV producer Yawar Hayat to act in his plays. Not only did he portray roles of substance throughout the next three decades, he also worked in Jamil Dehlavi’s films — he had a minor role in The Blood of Hussain (1980) and he portrayed Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar in Jinnah (1998).
Khayyam Sarhadi bid adieu to LollywoodDespite his father’s long-standing association with films, Khayyam Sarhadi bid adieu to Lollywood after some experiences turned sour. He bowed out after acting in a handful of films which included Bobby, in which he had a small role. His co-star from the film, Javed Sheikh, remembers him as a versatile actor, “Khayyam was a lovely person to be with and he was an institution into himself due to his vast experience. He portrayed every possible role an actor could wish for. One of his last plays — Anokha Laadla — is produced by my brother Saleem (Sheikh) and we are all saddened by his death.”
Views of Ahsan khanActor Ahsan Khan remembers Khayyam Sarhadi as an actor who always improvised, “I always benefited from his fatherly figure as he cooperated with the juniors on the sets. Even in two of his last plays — Parsa and Dastaan — he was there to guide us and make us learn from him. His scripts were always written in Roman since he couldn’t read Urdu. Even that didn’t stop him from improvising, speaking his own lines at times which gave his acting the natural touch we all would die for. I am honoured to have shared the screen with him in Dastaan, Ghuroor and Imtihaan. Sadly, in Parsa, his character Joseph dies of a heart attack and that is also how he left us for good.”
- The Blood of Hussain
- Anokha Ladla (TV Series)
- Dastaan – guest
- Deep Sey Deep Jalay
- Ghulam Gardish
- Khali Aankhen
- Kisi Ko Maan Liya Apna
- Man Chale Ka Sauda
- Meri Zaat Zarra-e-Benishan
- Mirza and Sons
- Mujhe Hai Hukum-e-Azan
- Mutthi Bhar Mitti
- Suraj Kay Saath Saath
- Zeenat Bint-e-Sakina Hazir Ho
- angar wadi
- Jhumka Jaan (HUM TV DRAMA)
- Pride of Performance Award – (1991)
DeathSarhadi died with a sudden heart attack on 3 February 2011 at the age of 62 in Lahore. His funeral was held at his residence in Defence Housing Authority, Lahore.
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