Early Life And Career
Sultan Rahi was born as Sultan Muhammad Khan, to Subedar Major, Abdul Majeed a british army officer in 1938 at Uttar Pardesh, British India. After partition in 1947, his family migrated to Pakistan and settled in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
He began his film career in 1956 from film 'Baghi', where he was given a minor role. Initially Rahi started as an extra and fighter, in movies with very minor acts till film 'Chacha Gi' in 1962, where he played father of filmstar 'firdos'.
After 'Chacha gi', directors and producers, started casting Rahi in characters of importance. In this era, he was casted in film 'Badla' in 1969, in a very important role. in 1971, he was casted in movie 'Babul'. His performance in 'Babul' was very much appreciated, but he was not offered any movie for one and a half year after Babul.
Rahi's career took a huge leap after the release of his super hit movie 'Bashira' as a hero. Bashira was a bumper hit and still one of all time punjabi classic. Bashira was released in 1972.
An Era of Sultan Rahi from 'Bashira'
After success of Bashira, he was offered another similar lead role in 'Wehshi Jutt', wehshi jutt was released in 1975. it was a super hit. Sultan Rahi from there onwards continuously produced superhit movies till his assasination in 1996.
Rahi was a hard work personafide actor. He acted in more than 1000 films including Urdu and Punjabi films in a career of almost forty years. Sultan Rahi was the highest paid actor of his time in Pakistan.
Sultan Rahi, A versatile Actor
'Maula Jutt' (1979), a sequal of his film, wehshi jutt, was a trend setter super hit film. He started his career as extra, in 1956, later as a fighter and than a character actor from 1962 to 1969. After 1969, Rahi started acting as a villin till 1972. In 1972 Rahi was offered as a 'Hero' in film 'Bashira'.
Bashira was initially offered to the successful action hero of that time, 'Saawan'. Sawan refused the movie, due to low payment offered by the producer, as he was a very successful hero. 'Bashira' was than offered to 'Sultan Rahi'. Rahi, very happily accepted the offer without discussing the payment. he put his whole hearted effort in Bashira, which proved to be biggest hit of that time.
'Maula Jutt' and start of an 'Iconic Career'
'Maula Jutt', is still one of the most successful film of all times in Pakistani cinema history.
Maula Jutt, continued its successful run in the cinemas for two and a half years. Later Maula Jutt was forced to off from cinemas through a 'Ban' by the govt. of Pakistan, as accused of spreading violence in the society. Maula Jutt was released again after the ban was lifted and It again continued to run successfully.
Sultan Rahi, was assasinated in January 1996, when he was returning from Islamabas to Lahore on his personal car with his driver via GT Road.
His un-timely death caused a cumulative estimated loss of PKR. 1 Billion to the film industry. At the time of his assassination, 54 movies were under process of completion.
Rahi left this world for his eternal abode on 09th January, 1996. Sultan Rahi had five (05) childeren, one of them, Mr. Haidar Sultan is also a movie star. The other are four daughters.
A Graet Human, A Philanthropist
Rahi was a deeply religious person. he was a great philanthropist and a humanitarian. He used to spend a major portion of his earnings on charity. He use to conduct 'Ijtemaai Shaadi', a combined marriage ceremony funded and arranged by Rahi, for the poor and needy girls and families.
Rahi was a simple and humble human being. He use to sit and sleep on floor, without chairs sofas and beds. He use to sit on floor with his guests and visitors. He use to eat while sitting on floor. He was a very simple and humble human being and never forgot his humble beginning. Stardom made Rahi even more humble and he was always helpful to the poor.
Tribute, Honor and Awards
Sultan Rahi worked in seven hundred (700) plus punjabi films and hundred (100) plus urdu films in his illustrious career of four decades. He was an extremely hard working individual. He still holds the Guinnese world record for most number of lead roles in movies. He also holds the world record for most number of movies in a life-time by any movie star.
Sultan Rahi won more than hundered and Sixty (160) Awards and honors. He was a super human, and in his peak time, he used to work in six movies simultaneously, which is again a record of a kind. Below is a tribute aired by 'DUNYA' tv, at his death anniversary.