Darpan درپن
Syed Ishrat Abbas

Died8 November 1980(1980-11-08) (aged 51–52)
Lahore, Pakistan
Years active1950–1980
Spouse(s)actress Nayyar Sultana
AwardsNigar Awards in 1959 and 1960

Syed Ishrat Abbas (Urdu: سیّد عِشرت عبّاس‎), (1928 – 8 November 1980) better known by his stage name Darpan (Urdu: درپَن‎), was one of the original romantic heroes of the "golden age" of Pakistan's film industry (also commonly known as Lollywood).[1][2]


Syed Ishrat Abbas was born into a middle-class Shia Muslim family originally from the United Provinces of India, where he was born in 1928. His older brother, Santosh Kumar, was also a film actor. Another brother, S. Sulaiman, is a film director.[1]


Darpan was introduced in the film Amanat in 1950 and went on to feature in the Pakistani Punjabi film Billo in 1951. After starring in a few more films produced in Lahore, he decided to try his luck in India, where he only had moderate level of success. Notable films from this period include Barati (1954), and Adl-e-Jehangir (1955) opposite Meena Kumari. While in India, he was romantically involved with the Indian actress Nigar Sultana, who played 'Bahar' in the classic Indian film Mughal-e-Azam (1960).[3][4]

Darpan came back to Lahore after a few years, where the film industry was then booming, and he acted in Baap Ka Gunah (1957). He had a breakthrough with his self-produced film Sathi. Raat Ke Rahi (1960), Saheli, Gulfam, Qaidi, Anchal, Baji, Shikwa, Ik Tera Sahara and Naela (1965) were some big films in which he played vital roles. Critics applauded his lead role performance back in Pakistan's film Saheli (1960) in which he starred alongside Nayyar Sultana and Shamim Ara.[5][6]

He won a Best Actor Nigar Award for his performance in Saheli (1960), as well as a Presidential award.[7] His last big film as hero was Payal Ki Jhankar in 1966. He was the hero in two of Waheed Murad's produced films Insaan Badalta Hai and Jab Se Dekha Hai Tumhen. He played the villain in Ik Gunah Aur Sahi, and was a supporting actor in Khuda Te Maan, Jub Jub Phool Khile (1975) and a few other films.[4]

Family life

Darpan was a good-looking and attractive man with hazel eyes and a rich playboy's smile.[5] At first glance, he seemed like a non-serious flirt and a 'lady killer'. At least, that was his 'professional image as an actor'. He used to play non-serious fun-loving roles in the movies quite unlike his older actor brother Santosh Kumar who used to take serious romantic roles in the Pakistani movies of the 1950s and 1960s.[5][8]

When it came to marriage, Darpan fell for a shy, typically eastern and a lady-like fellow actress, Nayyar Sultana. They had been paired together earlier in a super-hit Pakistani film Saheli (1960) which also starred Shamim Ara and was directed by veteran film director S. M. Yusuf.[5]


He died in Lahore on 8 November 1980 at age 52.[8][1]

Awards and recognition


Darpan did a total of 67 films - 57 films in Urdu language, 8 in Punjabi language and 2 films in Pashto language.[4]

In India

In Pakistan

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Muhammad Suhayb (11 February 2018). "SPOTLIGHT: CELLULOID LOVE". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b Muhammad Ali (3 December 2019). "Film 'Naela' screened at National History Museum's amphitheatre". Daily Times (newspaper). Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Vintage Tidbits - Indian Actress Nigar Sultana denying reports of her marriage with Pakistani actor Syed Ishrat Abbas (Darpan)". Cineplot.com website. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Profile of actor Darpan". Pakistan Film Magazine website. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d "Darpan – Nayyar Sultana". Cineplot.com website. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  6. ^ Aijaz Gul (1 March 2016). "'Saheli' screened [Saheli (1960 film)]". The News International (newspaper). Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Ten best Pakistani films selected by film critic Ijaz Gul". BBC News website. 5 September 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b Darpan's 32nd death anniversary today Geo News (TV channel), Published 8 November 2012, Retrieved 14 March 2019
  9. ^ Nigar Awards - 1959 Cineplot.com website, Published 13 May 2010, Retrieved 5 July 2021
  10. ^ Darpan's Nigar Award for Best Actor in Saheli (1960 film) on Cinelot.com website Retrieved 15 March 2019
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Filmography of Syed Ishrat Abbas (Darpan) on Pakistan Film Magazine website Retrieved 5 July 2021