10 Devastating TV Deaths That Shocked the Audience

Written by Omair Alavi

Let’s go back in time and talk about some of the characters who died on screen, but left a mark on the viewers’ minds with their sudden departure

By Omair Alavi Created: 28 February 2020 

The drama Ehd-e-Wafa is all set to end on 14th March 2020 with a screening at a cinema near you (in Pakistan only). From the grand finale’s trailer, it seems that Saad (Ahad Raza Mir) might achieve martyrdom in the final episode. It has been hinted on many occasions – the way he is looking at Karnal Sher Khan’s picture or where (in the next episode) his wife Dua reads a letter from him. Add to that the leaked pictures from inside the ward in which one of the characters is being treated and voila, it might be as clear as the day.

While we are hoping that Saad lives and gets to spend quality time with Saad Junior, let’s go back in time and talk about some of the characters who died on screen, but left a mark on the viewers’ minds with their sudden departure. For the sake of relatability, we are including only one death from the 70s (the most impactful one), one from the 1980s (although it is two people), two from the 1990s followed by others from the new millennium. Only dramas where one person or a group (at the same time) died are considered eligible because those with multiple deaths in different episodes will either have a serial killer on the loose or habitual killers. Enjoy!

Beena in Uncle Urfi (Portrayed by Shehla Ahmed, 1972)

Written by: Haseena Moin

Directed by: Shirin Khan, Mohsin Ali

In the last episode of Uncle Urfi, flawless acting from Beena (Shehla Ahmed), Uncle Urfi’s wife-to-be, immortalized the play. Just before her marriage ceremonies begin, she consumed poison after learning that Uncle Urfi (Shakeel) paid off her greedy stepfather (Imtiaz Ahmed) to leave her alone. Beena felt betrayed and the dialogues she delivers showed her anger, as well as her helplessness. She fell from the stairs afterward and it devastated the public, who didn’t believe it for the first few days. Shehla Ahmed’s acting and Shakeel’s reaction gelled so well that the end is still considered better than any climax that followed, even after nearly 50 years. It hit the audience so badly that they were unable to get out from it, till the next time some character died on screen.

Parents in Tanhaiyan (Portrayed by Subhani Ba Yunus, Sultana Zafar, 1985)

Written by: Haseena Moin

Directed by: Shehzad Khalil

And the next time it also happened in a Haseena Moin drama where Zara and Saniya’s parents died in a car crash. Although the accident wasn’t showed onscreen, the reaction of their aunt (Badar Khalil) was so brilliant that Zara (Shehnaz Sheikh) understood that all’s not well. Saniya (Marina Khan) couldn’t understand what was wrong until Baba (Imtiaz Ahmed) handed the tickets to Lahore. Brilliant acting from Shehnaz Sheikh and Badar Khalil made the scene so depressing that even today if you watch it, it will give you goosebumps. The whole drama revolved around that incident until Zara got injured in an accident herself, and the story shifted towards Zara and her relationship with Zain (Asif Raza Mir).

Dawood in Dhuwan (Portrayed by Nabeel, 1994)

Written by: Ashir Azeem

Directed by: Sajjad Ahmed

When Dhuwan was aired, it featured a young cast and a storyline that felt more Hollywood than Pakistan. It was a thriller like American TV shows and was shot in the same mode. That’s why when Dawood (Nabeel) was hit during a raid, the whole country went silent. The audience hoped that Dawood will survive and they would watch him next week, but in the dying moments of that episode, he passed away. Nabeel’s realistic acting not just helped him become an overnight star, it left the audience shattered as they never felt that something like this would happen. Farrukh Abid’s outstanding background score mixed with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Kise Da Yaar Na Vichre helped the scene become eternal until Nabeel had to switch to comedy in an attempt to make people forget Dawood. They still remember!

Gulsher in Alpha Bravo Charlie (Portrayed by Qasim Khan, 1998)

Written by: Shoaib Mansoor

Directed by: Shoaib Mansoor

Some compared it to the fall of Steve McQueen’s character in The Great Escape but in the Hollywood film, he remained alive. In Alpha Bravo Charlie, the writer/director killed off Gulsher (Qasim Khan) after he had escaped from captivity in Bosnia, managed to send a letter to his wife informing her that he was alive only to die a few scenes later. For a drama that began with a burst of laughter, sustained due to its brilliant comedy and captured the audience’s imagination, the end was way too serious and if I ever get to meet ShoMan (Shoaib Mansoor), I would tell him that he should have let Gulsher live, and killed someone else.

Afzal in Pyarey Afzal (Portrayed by Hamza Ali Abbasi, 2013)

Written by: Khalil ur Rehman Qamar

Directed by: Nadeem Baig

Afzal Subhan (Hamza Ali Abbasi) was in love with the mill owner’s daughter Farah (Ayeza Khan) and played along when she asked him to pose as her lover, so that she can convince her parents that she didn’t want to marry the person of their choice. After using and abusing her, Farah ditched him and Afzal shifted to another city, where he became a vigilante on the police’s payroll. In the end, Farah realized her mistake and called Afzal to profess her love, but by then it’s too late as after his refusal to undertake another assignment, the police shot Afzal, who died while listening to Farah’s final call. The grand finale was so anticipated that people in India arranged for a screening of the final episode in a cinema, and left the audience devastated who were hoping that Afzal and Farah might unite. Don’t forget the spot-on performance from both Hamza Ali Abbasi and Ayeza Khan who went onto become superstars in no time

Fouzia in Baaghi (Portrayed by Saba Qamar, 2017)

Written by: Shazia Khan

Directed by: Farooq Rind

For a drama based on the life of the controversial Qandeel Baloch, Baaghi had to have a sad end, even if they managed to rope in Saba Qamar for the title role. However, no one knew how it would conclude until they saw it and got the shock of their life. Saba Qamar was at the peak of her acting prowess in the scene in which her young brother Munna (Syed Tabrez Ali Shah) first drugged her and then strangled her. Kudos to director Farooq Rind who used flashbacks to suggest that Fouzia’s life flashed before her eyes as she tried to regain control, unsuccessfully. Also, the scene before Munna entered the room was shot intelligently as it showed both the young and old version of the character pondering whether to carry on with the plan or not. No other director would have executed it better and it did bring tears into the eyes of all those who were glued to their screens as well as saw it on Social Media.

Hamza in Aisi Hai Tanhai (Portrayed by Sami Khan, 2018)

Written by: Mohsin Ali

Directed by: Badar Mehmood

A happy ending is not the answer in some dramas and Aisi Hai Tanhai was one such play in which Sami Khan and Sonya Hussyn were on top of their game. The scene where bullets meant for Pakeeza (Sonya Hussyn) hit Hamza (Sami Khan) was brilliantly executed from the moment Hamza’s eyes were locked on the target killers. Afterward when Pakeeza went to meet him at the hospital, she asked him to take his name, and instead of doing that, Hamza stretched his hand so that she can hold it. And when that happens, Hamza died with Pakeeza delivering a power-packed performance, giving the audience a scene that they would not forget for a long time. Not only did the audience appreciate both Sami and Sonya’s superb performance, but it also showed their caliber as well, one that was questioned (in Sonya’s case) very recently.

Jamil in Qurban (Portrayed by Bilal Abbas, 2018)

Written by: Zafar Mairaj

Directed by: Ahmed Bhatti

The animosity between two excellent actors Omair Rana and Bilal Abbas witnessed in Pyar Ke Sadqay isn’t new; they were on the opposite sides in Qurban as well in which Qaiser Khan (Omair Rana) shot Jamal (Bilal Abbas) in front of his wife, who mistakenly believed that younger brother Shahmeer (Shehzad Sheikh) had done the deed. The scene was so well-acted by everyone from Bilal Abbas, Iqra Aziz, Omair Rana and Shehzad Sheikh that when it aired, it shocked the audience like never before. Jamal was shown to be on the verge of divorcing his wife when suddenly Qaiser pulls out a gun, shot him in the back multiple times before being stopped by his younger brother Shahmeer who was in the vicinity. The drama then revolved around the case where it was disclosed that Qaiser was the shooter, who then killed himself to avoid embarrassment.

Fakhir in Khaas (Portrayed by Haroon Shahid, 2019)

Written by: Sarwat Nazir

Directed by: Danish Nawaz

Khaas tackled the subject of women empowerment in an intelligent manner and showed Ammar (Ali Rehman Khan) as a narcissist who had issues with his wife Saba (Sanam Baloch) working in the same office. After he left her, she married her friend Fakhir (Haroon Shahid) who not only proved to be the ideal husband for her but also won over the audience with his natural acting. They were all set to live happily ever after when Fakhir lost his life in a car accident, leaving his wife as a widow and newborn kid as an orphan. Although the scene wasn’t that horrific, it wasn’t what the audience was expecting as they thought that with Ammar out of the way, all will end well for Fakhir – Saba who faced a lot of problem before their marriage.

Danish in Mere Paas Tum Ho (Portrayed by Humayun Saeed, 2019)

Written by: Khalil ur Rehman Qamar

Directed by: Nadeem Baig

And then there was the last death that devastated the entire nation, and most of the fans are still in shock. No one was expecting Danish (Humayun Saeed) to die in the grand finale of the drama because he had braved through all hardships in style. His wife left him, but he stood tall; his son went to boarding school, but he never lost hope; in fact, he even slapped the guy who threatened to take away his kid and became a national hero for doing what he thought was right. It would have been better had either Mehwish (Ayeza Khan) or Shahvaar (Adnan Siddiqui) died in the end because they deserved it; killing Danish meant killing the emotions of all those who cheered for him. Humayun Saeed was too good as the man who finally loses it when he goes back to his old apartment to meet his ex-wife just for the sake of old days, and suffers a heart attack. How he died is a story for another day, but his death could have been avoided to end the serial on a happy note.

About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.