Waheed Murad’s 81st Birthday – Today’s Doodle, illustrated by Canada-based, Pakistan-born guest artist Anoosha Syed, celebrates the iconic Pakistani actor and producer Waheed Murad. Also known as “the Chocolaty Hero,” Murad’s blockbuster films electrified South Asian cinema throughout the 1960s and ’70s. Born in the former British India on this day in 1938, Murad was the only son of distributor Nisar Murad. After a brief appearance in the 1959 film Saathi, he began working with his father’s Film Art Productions, becoming the youngest producer Lollywood had ever seen.
Casting rising actress Zeba in an early lead role and helping her rise to stardom, Zeba, in turn, encouraged Murad to pursue acting. “I asked Waheed to become a leading man but his reply stunned me,” she recalled later. Waheed asked if she was mocking him, but after taking a role in the 1962 film Aulaad, he never looked back. The pair headlined many hit movies together, including Heera Aur Patthar in 1964 and Rishta Hai Pyar Ka, which was partially shot in London and Paris.
Murad went on to receive the Nigar Award for Best Producer and Best Actor for the 1966 romantic musical Armaan. The matinee idol was adored by many. He once found his white car covered with lipstick marks from female fans in Karachi.
During a career spanning a quarter-century, he appeared in more than 100 films, including Urdu, Punjabi, and Pashto productions. In November 2010, Murad was posthumously awarded the prestigious Sitara-e-Imtiaz (star of excellence) award by the Pakistani government for his outstanding contributions to the arts. To this day, Pakistan’s Waheedi Club organizes an annual film festival in his honor.
Happy Birthday, Waheed Murad!
Guest Artist Q&A with Anoosha Syed
Today’s Doodle was created by Canada-based, Pakistan-born guest artist Anoosha Syed.
Below she shares her thoughts behind the making of the Doodle:
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: While I hadn’t heard of him before, my parents and grandmother were eager to tell me stories all about him and their favorite movies of his.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: It’s always been a “bucket list” goal of mine to illustrate a Google Doodle, so I was ecstatic when I was approached for this project! It was exciting to be given the opportunity to create artwork about a Pakistani icon and to research a side of my culture that I hadn’t been exposed to in my life.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: I’d only ever seen a handful of Bollywood movies, and only one Pakistani film, so I knew I had to draw reference from some of Murad’s work for the illustration. That meant watching black & white films from the ’60s, and struggling to understand what was happening without subtitles. My Urdu isn’t that great, but I really enjoyed the films I saw.
Q: What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: I hope people (film buffs or not), especially those outside of Pakistan, might take this as an opportunity to broaden their pop culture horizons and try watching something from this iconic star’s filmography!
Early sketches of the Doodle
You can find more about Waheed Murad’s 81st Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page