“Qeisar” star Bahman Mofid passes on at 78
Art and Experience: Bahman Mofid, a star of director Masud Kimiai’s cult film “Qeisar”, died of lung cancer at his home in Tehran on Sunday. He was 78.
“He loved people and was always grateful for all their favors,” his nephew Yashar Samimi-Mofakham told the Persian service of ISNA after announcing his uncle’s death.
“However, we regret to inform that we cannot receive people during the funeral due to the pandemic, but we thank them all in advance,” he added.
He was born into an artistic family in Garakan, a village near Arak. His father, Gholam-Hossein was a stage director and actor. He was the brother of Bijan, a celebrated playwright and staged director and Ardavan, an actor. His sister, Hengameh, is also a poet and a songwriter.
Mofid commenced his acting career from childhood in his father’s plays. He made his debut by playing a minor role in a play named “Yusof and Zolaykha” when he was only four or five.
Later he collaborated in several puppet shows as a singer and voice actor.
He received a degree from the College of Dramatic Arts at the University of Tehran, and along with his father and brothers established a troupe, whose members also included celebrated actors such as Behzad Farahani, Reza Mirlohi, Asghar Aqakhani and Bahram Vatanparast.
Mofid made his debut in cinema in 1969 by playing a cameo in “Qeisar” starring Behruz Vosuqi and Jamshid Mashayekhi.
His humorous dialogue with Vosuqi, who starred the title role, changed into an unforgettable chapter of Iranian cinema, so much so that government spokesman Ali Rabiei referred to it last year in his response to U.S. claims of having shot down Iranian drones in the Persian Gulf.
The dialogue had been added to the screenplay based on a proposal by Mofid. Kimiai, a pioneer of the Iranian new wave cinema, also hired Mofid for his next film “Dash Akol” written based on a story by eminent author Sadeq Hedayat.
In addition, director Ali Hatami, known as the Hafez of Iranian cinema due to the native and poetic ambiance of his movies, picked Mofid for his 1970 drama “Toqi” and 1972 “Qalandar”.
The golden age of Mofid’s acting career was over following the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution when cultural officials were tasked with implementing a policy of terminating Iranian pre-revolutionary popular cinema, including low budget thrillers and melodramas known as filmfarsi.
However, he played cameos in the Iranian post-revolution cinema, the last of which was director Ali Qavitan’s 2005 comedy drama-drama “The Birthday Chant”.
He also appeared in the documentary “Qeisar: 40 Years Later” that Masud Najafi made in 2013 to examine the secret behind the popularity of “Qeisar”.