KUALA LUMPUR: Actor, author and arts activist Khalid Salleh (pic), who, for over 40 years, was a familiar fixture in the Malay film, theatre and literature scene, has died after suffering breathing problems. He was 70.
His youngest son Mohd Asyiq, 24, said Khalid died at the KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital here at 3.20pm yesterday.
“He was taken to the hospital after he complained of breathing problems at 8am, and admitted into the intensive care unit,” Mohd Asyiq told Bernama.
He said Khalid’s remains were taken to Masjid Baru Taman Kosas for the final funeral rites and buried at the Taman Kosas Muslim Cemetery in Ampang before Maghrib prayers.
Khalid is survived by his wife Hamidah Abdullah, 60, two sons and a daughter.
Khalid, fondly known as Wak Khalid, was born in Kampung Sungai Kantan, Kajang, Selangor.
Theatre was part of his life from an early age as he staged plays and was an active thespian during his school days in Batu Pahat, Johor. His arts career saw him starting off with the pioneering Anak Alam art collective here, which promoted multi-disciplinary arts and theatre culture in the 1970s.
“Issues on human, world, religion and politics that are close to the people can be put into a performance. Besides its roles to entertain, theatre can actually ‘humanise’ people,” he was quoted as saying in The Star in 2016.
Khalid made his acting debut in the 1976 play Kelip Kelap, written by Mustaffa Ibrahim, and staged at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
His reputation as a poet, writer, newspaper columnist and scriptwriter grew further throughout the 1980s, while he enjoyed an illustrious career as an actor in the 1990s.
Khalid’s last film Hanyut (2016), which also starred Sofia Jane, Diana Danielle and Bront Palarae, was an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel Almayer’s Folley.
That same year, Khalid staged his classic monologue Jual Ubat at eight main railway stations in the country.