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'King Of Uzbek Comedy' Dies In Tashkent

Ergash Karimov (archive photo)
TASHKENT -- Celebrated Uzbek comic actor Ergash Karimov has died at the age of 75 at his home in the Uzbek capital, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Karimov, who has no relation to Uzbek President Islam Karimov, was known as the "king of Uzbek comedy" during his long career in the Soviet Union.

Several scenes from Karimov's comedies from the 1970s are considered classics of Uzbek comedy.

In his most popular movie, "Uchrashuv," Karimov played a chemistry student who didn't know the chemical formula of water and concluded there could be no atoms in water because that would make it a bomb.

Karimov was also well-known for his comic roles on television.

Film director and friend Ali Khamrayev told RFE/RL that Karimov lived a modest lifestyle with little money and had basically been unemployed since Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991.

Uzbek state media failed to report on Karimov's death.