The five-time National Film Award winner was also a prolific screenwriter. Although A T M Shamsuzzaman's importance in the world of cinema and television can be talked about for days on end, his greater legacy was that of a humble and witty artiste, whose passion for his craft was unparalleled. That being said, let us revisit a few of his notable performances.
The versatile actor won a National Film Award for his performance as Kodom Ali in Aftab Khan's film, "Dayee Ke?". The character of Kodom Ali sells his homemade medicine in trains and streets. His father, the village chairman, deceives his mother for her wealth and property. Kodom Ali became a favourite among the masses upon the film's release.
In Amjad Hossain's "Golapi Ekhon Train E" A T M Shamsuzzaman played the role of Mondol, an influential person in his village, whose son Milon (Farooque), falls in love with a singer named Golapi (Babita). The actor's portrayal of Mondol earned him appreciation at both home and abroad, including the Moscow International Film Festival.
On the other hand, he played a grey character called Makbul in the film, "Hajar Bochhor Dhore". Makbul is an elderly, greedy man, who has three wives. Based on Zahir Raihan's novel, the movie won the National Film Award in the Best Film category, and was lauded by the audience.
In "Shurjo Dighol Bari", he played the character of Jobed Fakir. The film portrays the socioeconomic conditions after the Bengal Famine of 1943.
"Molla Barir Bou" showcased A T M Shamsuzzaman's brilliant acting and writing skills. He played the negative role of Gazi Ebadot Ali, a powerful villager and landowner, who treats his daughter-in-law badly.
Moreover, he played prominent roles in films such as "Chhutir Ghonta", "Lathial", "Chorabali", "Guerilla", and "Alpha", among others.
A T M Shamsuzzaman also charmed audiences with his roles on television. He earned appreciation for his work in the hit shows, "Ronger Manush" and "Bhober Haat", both directed by Salahuddin Lavlu. The shows were set in rural Bangladesh.
A T M Shamsuzzaman and Humayun Faridee played brothers on "Bhober Haat". Their chemistry in the series was brilliant. "Ghor Kutum", another popular village-based series directed by Salahuddin Lavlu, also featured A T M Shamsuzzaman.
In addition, the actor played a pivotal role in the comedy-drama, "Noashal", directed by Mir Sabbir. The series was about two families hailing from Noakhali and Barishal. In the comedy, "Jaygir Master", directed by S A Haque Alik, A T M Shamsuzzaman appeared in a scene, where his character goes to his own wedding, riding on an elephant. He won over the audience with his outstanding performance.
He was also appreciated for his roles in one-hour television shows such as "Goru Chor", "Ustaadji", "Patri Chai" and "Potro Milati". In "Rohmat Master", a popular show, he essayed the role of a teacher in a private school. On the other hand, he portrayed the character of an urban thief in the show, "Rotone Roton China". The show, "Bou Churi" was one of the most significant television projects of his career.
In "Sheel Bari", a comedy telefilm, A T M Shamsuzzaman played the memorable role of a barber. In "Prem Piriti Zindabaad", another popular show set in rural Bangladesh, he played the head of a family, and was required to speak in the Noakhali dialect. He was also featured in shows such as "Munshibaari", "Ai Je Duniya", "Gao Geraamer Kissa", "Ekjon Hedayat Alir Golpo", and "Joutuker Koutuk", among many others.