Pakistani drama industry has always been blessed with actors who gave performances that left a lasting impression. Back in the time when there was no social media but only a single television channel, it all came down to the choice of projects and the performances an individual actor gave. Nowadays, with the help of social media, PR companies and the production houses’ taking up the task of marketing actors the game has changed completely. However, the competition is also fiercer than ever so at the end of the day it all depends on the project and the actor’s performance, as was the case before. There are only a handful of actors who got instant fame in Pakistan and all over the globe where Pakistani dramas are being watched. However, these actors took the viewers completely by surprise when they decided to call it quits even though they had so many good offers.
Acting is not an easy job, it is mentally and physically taxing, therefore, anyone who wants to choose acting as a profession must dedicate their time and energy to this field. Some of the Pakistani actors continued acting while they were working elsewhere too because they were passionate about performing arts. The actors on this list were natural performers and they had so much to offer but they were not passionate about acting. That is the main reason why they chose to dedicate their time to their other professions and all of them excelled in their respective fields.
Here is a list of those Pakistani actors, who were lucky enough to get instant fame but they decided to quit acting after doing few projects:
Shehnaz Sheikh’s name is on top of the list for a reason, she has only worked in two drama serials but she got more fame and love from the viewers than most actors do in their lifetime! Ankahi and Tanhaiyan are still considered classics. Shehnaz Sheikh played leading roles in both these dramas and she gained popularity not only in Pakistani but also abroad. So much so that she was offered to play the leading role in Bollywood’s film Hina. However, Shehnaz Sheikh completely disappeared from the scene after that and to date, people wonder why she decided to bid farewell to such a successful career.
In an interview, Shehnaz Sheikh shared that she found playing Zara’s role in Tanhaiyan incredibly difficult. Since she is a free spirit and likes to do what pleases her, she chose to be a teacher. She loves being around kids and therefore teaching kids seemed to like the best career option. She shared in her interview that she does not have enough tolerance to work with adults. She also feels that she is a lazy person who does not like stepping out of her comfort zone – which she would have had to do had she chosen to be an actress. Shehnaz Sheikh also wonders why people still ask her to come back since she has worked in only two dramas! Well, she will always be remembered and treasured for the roles she played even though she feels she is not meant to be a part of the acting industry.
Ashir Azeem played one of the leading roles in the drama serial Dhuwan. This drama was also written by him. As someone who had extensive experience in the Custom’s department, Ashir used his knowledge to pen down a drama that turned out to be an emotional thriller. His role and performance was the highlight of the show. Once the drama ended, people wanted to know more about him and were waiting to see him on television yet he never made an appearance until many years later when he made the film Maalik. It was evident from both these projects that Ashir Azeem wanted to use his knowledge and skills to raise awareness in society. However, he never opted for acting as a proper profession since his goals were not being met in the field.
Right now, he is living with his family in Canada and is using his YouTube channel to share his experiences with people. On social media, he often talks about the disparities within the system and he also speaks up for the minorities. With his screen presence and talent, Ashir definitely could have made it big in the industry yet he chose not to act since that was not his ultimate goal in life.
Syed Qasim Shah
Captain Gulsher of Alpha Bravo Charlie stood out because of the character and the acting. Syed Qasim Shah played the role with utmost precision. He was offered the role after his performance in Sunehry Din was appreciated by the masses. Since Alpha Bravo Charlie was Sunehry Din’s sequel, most of the leading cast was picked from there. Syed Qasim was a Captain at the time when he was picked to play the role of Gulsher. Even though he got so much love and appreciation from the public, he was not seen in any drama ever again! The reason for this was that he wanted to continue being army personnel. He retired as Colonel and is now working in the IT department.
Syed Qasim recently announced that he was working on a film. He also posted a picture with Ahad Raza Mir. He is quite active on social media and is one of those people on the list who quit acting but are still seen in some of the functions relating to showbiz. In a show, he shared how he still gets love from the people because of his role in Alpha Bravo Charlie. Unlike some of the other actors who quit acting, Syed Qasim does not shy away from continuing to be a public figure.
Captain Kashif Kirmani from Alpha Bravo Charlie had the most emotional journey in the drama. He won the viewers over with his performance and then he disappeared from the scene altogether. In 2014 there was news that his family home caught fire and as a result of that tragic incident, he lost his son and the rest of the family was badly injured. Abdullah Mehmood has made a conscious effort to stay away from the public eye. He was also part of the armed forces when he was chosen to play Captain Kashif’s role. It seems as if just like many other actors on the list, he also had different goals and aspirations which is why he did not continue acting.
Shahnaz Khawaja played the role of Shahnaz in the drama serial Alpha Bravo Charlie. The role and the performance left a lasting impression on the viewers. But that was Shahnaz first and the last appearance on Pakistani television! Although the public fell in love with the actress, she chose not to be a part of any other projects. However, she had been a model for some of the leading international brands over the years. She moved to the United States and 1998 and that is when her journey in showbiz started there. Then she went on to study mental health. Right now she is working as an Assistant Director for Resilience and Recovery Strategies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Captain Faraz was yet another memorable character and actor from the drama Alpha Bravo Charlie. Faraz Inam was part of the Pakistani Air Force when he was chosen to play the role. In 3 decades, he has been part of 3 dramas and in all these 3 he has played the same role! Faraz studied engineering after he failed to achieve his dream as a fighter pilot due to his weak eyesight. Later on, he left the forces and studies MBA from LUMS, and currently, he is a banker. He was seen playing the same role he played decades ago in Ehd-e-Wafa. The viewers were ecstatic to see him on screen after 21 years.
The public shared their joy after his comeback and pleaded with him to come back to television. However, Faraz believes that he is not an actor. He thinks he managed to play Faraz’s role in 3 different dramas because that was a role much like his actual personality. He did not want to disappoint himself or his fans by venturing into other roles! Even though his fans are convinced that he can be a good actor, he is happy in his banking profession.
Naimal Khawar Khan
Out of all the actors who stepped into showbiz in recent times, Naimal Khawar got unprecedented success when she played Izza’s role in Anaa. Even though she made her debut in acting with the film Verna, it was her character in Anaa that won her unprecedented love and fame. Just when everyone was wondering what her next project would be and people were dying to know more about her, the news that she was getting married to Hamza Ali Abbasi spread like wildfire. She also announced that she was going to quit acting because she was essentially someone who liked other forms of art i.e. painting and sketching etc, hence acting was not what she wanted to invest her time in. It won’t be wrong to say that even though Naimal gave no television interviews and used absolutely no PR Tactics, she managed to bag more fame than many other actresses who have been working for years.
Her marriage with Hamza Ali Abbasi and her choice to keep her accounts public did not take away the celebrity status from her even though she has been away from showbiz. Naimal Khawar could have been the next big star of the industry but she chose not to be that!
Aymen Saleem made her acting debut on television with Mishi’s role in Chupke Chupke. Even though like some of the other actors, she only has one drama to her credit, she had an unprecedented fan following. Aymen Saleem got instant success, gave many interviews and it seemed as if she will continue acting. After the HUM Style Awards 2021 quite unexpectedly, she announced that she was not going to continue acting! No one really understood why she made this decision since in all of her interviews; she showed the desire to work again on television. Aymen Saleem will always be remembered as an actress who could have easily continued with their acting career yet they chose not to!
Please feel free to add more names.