Malaysian comedian Hamid Gurkha passes away at 90

Comedian Hamid Gurkha started his stint as a comedian in the 1960s. Photo: ROHAIZAT MD DARUS/The Star

Legendary comedian Hamid Gurkha passed away at 2pm on Tuesday (June 14), a week after he was hospitalised due to breathing difficulties brought on by a persistent cough. He was 90.

His death was confirmed by his son Fendy to mStar – The Star’s Malay-language portal.

Fendy said that Hamid died at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang, due to Tuberculosis (TB) and several other complications.

“His body will be handled by the hospital and we plan to lay him to rest later today,” Fendy told mStar.

“I want to thank everyone who had wished my father well. Hopefully, he will be remembered for the good things only after this,” he added.

Hamid had also contracted the Covid-19 virus this year which took a toll on him.

According to a 2020 report by a Malay newspaper, Hamid was thankful for being free of any chronic diseases. He only suffered hearing loss due to old age.

That same year, he announced that he was retiring from showbiz. He was quoted: “Let the young ones act instead.”

A 1982 filepic of Hamid Gurkha receiving the Best Comedian Actor award at the 3rd Malaysia Film Festival. Photo: CHOW CHIN HUAT/The StarA 1982 filepic of Hamid Gurkha receiving the Best Comedian Actor award at the 3rd Malaysia Film Festival. Photo: CHOW CHIN HUAT/The Star

Hamid – whose real name is Abdul Hamid Abdul Rahman – started his stint as a comedian in the 1960s. He then got his big break after winning the Bintang Radio RTM competition in 1965.

He reached the height of his popularity in the late 1970s, where he made a name for himself in films.

He was first introduced in the movie Panglima Badul in 1978. Other films followed such as Sikit Punya Gila, Ragam, Talak, Pemandu, Main-Main Hantu, Gila-Gila, Aku Yang Berhormat, Impian Konstabel Mamat, Silat Lagenda, Senario The Movie, Kemarau Cinta, Salah Bapak, Zombi Kampung Pisang, Alamak Toyol, Lu Gua Bro!, and Abang Lejen.

Hamid was named Best Comedian at the Malaysian Film Festival in 1982 and was also awarded the Anugerah Tokoh Seni YA1M 2013.

In a 2017 interview with The Star, Hamid said: “I served the army for seven years, from 1950 till 1957. In fact, I was in the army during the Bukit Kepong tragedy in February 1950.

“I only got involved in the entertainment scene as a comedian and an actor by accident."

Hamid was married to Timah Abdul Hamid, 80, with whom he had eight children. Two of his children have died.

He has 32 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

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