Popular TV and film actor Challenger passes away | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 14, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 14, 2010

Popular TV and film actor Challenger passes away


After he was diagnosed with cancer, his wife brought him to my Dhanmondi residence. He stared at me for a while, as he could not speak then.
-- Humayun Ahmed

Accomplished TV and film actor ASM Tofazzal Hossain, better known to the audience as “Challenger”, passed away on October 12 at 9:20 pm at his Shekhertek residence in the city. He was 51. Last year in July, during shooting the play “Onath Babur Bhoy”, directed by Golam Sohrab Dudul, Challenger suddenly felt ill. Later in August that year, his medical reports confirmed that he had brain cancer. His colleagues sent him to Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore for surgery.
Ten days earlier, he was admitted to Bangladesh Medical College Hospital, but as his condition somewhat improved he was moved back to his residence. His condition deteriorated again and the actor succumbed to death, his family sources said.
The artiste started his career 10 years back through the TV play “Hablong-er Bazar” directed by writer-director Humayun Ahmed. It was Ahmed who named him Challenger.
Challenger has so far acted in more than 200 TV plays and serials. “Brikkho Manab,” “Bhober Haat,” “Shawkat Shaheber Gari Kena,” “Jamunar Jol Dekhtey Kalo,” “Chandra Karigor,” “Gani Shaheber Shesh Kichhudin,” “Kala Koitor,” “Lilaboti,” “Juta Baba,” “Salek Dofadar,” “Warrant” and “Dholbatti” feature some of his memorable performances.
He acted in several films as well. Among them are Humayun Ahmed's “Shyamol Chhaya” and “Noy Number Bipod Shongket.” He also acted in the films “Daruchini Dwip,” “Lal Shobuj” and “Kaal Shokaley” directed by Tauquir Ahmed, Shahidul Islam Khokon and Amjad Hossain respectively.
“It makes me realise how uncertain life is. I am upset. After he was diagnosed with cancer, his wife brought him to my Dhanmondi residence. He stared at me for a while, as he could not speak then. Once he surprised me at Cox's Bazar, driving the whole night just to give me some time. He was an honest man and an outstanding actor,” said Humayun Ahmed about Challenger.
“We worked together on several TV plays and serials. Humayun Faridee and Challenger bhai acted in my 'Bhober Haat'. He was very frank. Last Pahela Baishakh we met at a programme; I could see his tears. I could not speak,” said Salahuddin Lavlu.
Fellow actor Dr. Ejaz Ahmed said, “I have so many fond memories of Challenger bhai. We used to have so much fun at the shooting spots! I am praying for his departed soul.”
Actor Mahfuz Ahmed said, “Challenger bhai acted in two of my plays -- 'Gani Shaheber Shesh Kichhudin' and 'Shesher Kabitar Porer Kabita'. He had an uncanny ability to grasp the required mood of the character he was playing. It's hard to believe that he is no more with us.”
The actor's namaz-e-janaza was held yesterday at 10 am. The body was taken to Central Shaheed Minar at 11 am. Later, he was buried at Paikpara in Dhamrai, next to his mother's grave.
Challenger was born in 1959 at Khilgaon in the capital. He left behind his wife, a daughter and a son. His sister Munira Mithu is also an actress.

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