If there’s anyone who has made the term character actress (whatever that means) a venerable one in Pakistan, without a jot of doubt, its Badar Khalil.
Badar’s television career began in 1969-70 when she started taking part in children’s programs, reciting stories and humming songs.
After a couple of years she got her acting break in Ghufran Imtiazi’s Fikre-Farda, aired from Pindi Television. Subsequently, came a series of single plays and serials that included successful ventures like Saya, Doosra Aadmi and Platform.
But what catapulted Badar to fame in late 70’s was her uncanny portrayal of Bi Jamalo in the eponymous play, directed by Shahzad Khalil whom she had married (in real life) a few years before the drama hit TV screens. Her note-perfect performance as the wily,
spineless lead character earned her great acclaim all over Pakistan. Badar had become a star.
Her next big assignment was hubby Shehzad’s tour de force Teesra Kinara from Lahore Television. The play is part of TV’s illustrious history and is considered to be one of the best ever.
From the very station, the actress also had a chance to work in a series of plays called Aur Dramey (or something like that), some of whose parts were directed by Ghazanfar Ali.
After a brief stint at LTV, Badar, along with her talented husband, shifted to Karachi. Here her first major appearance was in that classic Haseena Moin special, Unkahi, helmed by Shoaib Mansoor and Mohsin Ali.
This was precisely the serial in which her reputation as a supporting actress was firmly established. And from then on the actress did a variety of character roles with unmatched panache and style.
One of them was in Tanhaiyan in 1984, where she played Shehnaz Sheikh and Marina Khan’s bold, self-reliant and outspoken aunt, who takes care of the two girls after the demise of their parents in an accident. Shahzad Khalil directed the13-episodes.
In 1988 Badar suffered from the most serious tragedy of her life when Shahzad, her husband, died of cardiac arrest. His untimely death shook the entire country, not to mention the showbiz community.
Badar, along with her two boys, Ibrahim and Umar (who have also acted in TV plays off and on) showed resilience and bore the loss with tremendous courage. She kept on working in plays and raised her children like a responsible parent.
To date, Badar Khalil is one of the busiest actresses of Pakistan Television and is revered and highly respected for the work.