Hollywood is the pinnacle for any aspiring thespian. What is encouraging for fledgling Pakistani actors and actresses is that there are a growing number of local talents breaking through in Hollywood. And, let’s not forget about some of our beloved Pakistani actors and actresses that have graced Hollywood with their presence in the past.
So without further ado, here are some of the most notable Pakistani talents in Hollywood, and those who are still fondly remembered.
Iqbal Theba is a Pakistani-American Actor. He is mostly known for his recurring role as Principal Figgins in the musical show Glee. Theba’s big break came when he was part of NBC’s Death and Taxes. Some of the famous TV shows that he has featured in include Friends, ER, and Nip Tuck. He also starred in Transformers 2.
Theba was born in Karachi in 1963. He belongs to the Theba clan, a Gujarati-speaking group originating from Sindh.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is a popular Pakistani musician whose works are well known even in Hollywood. His music was used on the Bone Collector and Dead Man Walking. Although he enjoyed a number of years in Hollywood, unfortunately he is one Pakistani on this list that decided to turn his back on the bright lights due to a number of professional differences with directors.
Khan is widely revered as a Qawwal in Pakistani History. In 1987, he was bestowed with the Award for Pride of Performance for his amazing contributions to Pakistani music. In 1995, he also received an award from UNESCO. In 1996, he bagged the Grand Prix des Amériques at Montreal World Film Festival for his great contribution to the art of cinema.
Faran Haroon Tahir
Faran Haroon Tahir made his mark on Hollywood when he played Nathoo in Disney’s 1994 movie The Jungle Book. He also appeared in Picture Perfect and Anywhere But Here. Some of the award-winning TV shows he starred in include Grey’s Anatomy and Warehouse 13.
In the 2009 movie Star Trek, he was cast as Federation Captain Richard Robau and he is still held in high regard by Trekkies to this day. The 2013 collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals uses an image of him in their game. His character is also a key component of the Star Trek Red Alert game on the Slingo casino portal.
Tahir studied theatre at UC Berkeley and Harvard before becoming a fully-fledged actor.
Mahnoor Baloch is a famous actress and model from our beloved Pakistan. She made her debut in the TV serial Marvi, which was directed by the legendary Sultana Siddiqui. She began her U.S. debut when she played Maryam in the 2013 drama Torn.
Mahnoor was born in the U.S. but now currently resides in Canada.
Atif Aslam is a singer, songwriter, and actor. In 2011, he debuted as an extra for the 2011 drama Bol. After that, he released several chart topping hits, some of which were featured in the indie film Man Push Cart. Atif Aslam was also one of the voices used in the movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Aslam has received several prestigious awards including the Lux Style Awards, which is an annual fashion award. He also received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2008, which is one of the highest recognition that is given to a Pakistani citizen.