Noted actor Aly Zaker dies after 4-year battle with cancer

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Dhaka, Nov 27: Aly Zaker, a towering figure in theatre, television and film arena in Bangladesh, has died in hospital care after a four-year battle with cancer. He was 76.

Aly Zaker passed away at United Hospital in Dhaka at 6:40 am Friday, his advertising company Asiatic 3Sixty said in a brief statement. Aly tested positive for the COVID-19 illness two days ago, his son Iresh Zaker wrote on Facebook.

In a condolence message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: “Aly Zaker will be remembered for his contribution to the Great Liberation War and the country’s art and cultural arena.”

He served as a freedom fighter during the 1971 Liberation War. He was one of the trustees of the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka.

For his contribution to Bangladesh theatre, he was awarded with the state award of Ekushey Padak in 1999. Aly was the president of Nagorik Natya Sampradaya and directed and acted in several plays for Nagorik. He adapted plays by Moliere, Brecht, Zuckmayer, Chekov, Albee and Shakespeare.

Aly, a popular director and actor, was a part of over 2,000 plays. This includes lead roles in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Tempest and Dewan Gazir Kissa. He was also a part of Man Matti, Syed Shamsul Haque’s Nurul Diner Shara Jibon, Khatta Tamasha, Bidogdho Romonikul (based on Molière’s Les Femmes Savantes), Nishiddho Pollite (based on Edward Albee’s Everything in the Garden). He also played the leading role in a Bangla adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s 1943 play The Life of Galileo.