2014 Obituaries: In memory of Egypt’s celebrities


1. Zizi Al Badrawi

Zizi Al Badrawi (photo: mosaiquefm)

The Egyptian actress, whose real name was Fadwa Gamil Abd Allah Al Baitar, started her career in 1957 by playing a small role in the film ‘Port Said’. Throughout the years, Al Badrawi acted in television, cinema and theatre, starring in the famous TV series ‘Al Mal wa Al Banoon’ and the film ‘Chafika Al Kebtia’.

Al Badrawi died on 31 January at the age of 85 after a long illness. She was best known for her performance in the 1965 film ‘Al Dakhil’

2. Hussein Al Imam

Hussein Al Imam (photo: castle-journal)

Hussein Al Imam was a renowned Egyptian actor and musician who originally started playing music with his brother Moody. He was widely celebrated for composing some of the most outstanding soundtracks for Egyptian films.

Some of the most successful scores he wrote were featured in films such as ‘Kaboria’ and ‘Ice Cream in Gleem’, in which he acted in as well.

Al Imam’s peculiar sense of humour also played a significant role in his career. He is remembered for the candid camera shows he hosted, which celebrated the daily life of Egyptian families throughout the years.

The son of one of Egypt’s most celebrated filmmakers, Hassan Al Imam, passed away on 17 May at 63.

3. Faiza Kamal

Faiza Kamal (photo: anazahra)

Faiza Kamal was a talented actress who shined both on screen and on stage. She took on difficult roles while utilizing her peculiar acting techniques. Throughout her career, she managed to deliver unique performances, many of which were critically acclaimed in Egypt.

The beloved Egyptian actress’ works include the television drama series ‘Al Imam Al Ghazali’, in which she starred with Mohammad Riyad and Mirna Waleed.

Better known as “the angel of the silver screen”, the beautiful actress passed away on 26 May at the age of 52 after losing her battle with liver cancer.

4. Said Saleh

Said Saleh (photo: atlasinfo)

Said Saleh was one of the most widely known Egyptian actors and comedians throughout the Arab world. His impressive career saw him starring in more than 500 films alongside hundreds of plays. He was also celebrated for his performances as a theatre actor. Though he gained notoriety for his successful career both on stage and on the screen, Saleh was banned by local media and jailed during the early 80s for criticising the government.

The renowned actor died on 1 August at the age of 76.

5. Khalil Morsi

Khalil Morsi (photo: telive.net)

Popular Egyptian actor Khalil Morsi was best known for acting in TV and film series which, among the most recent ones, include ‘Rabia Al Ghadab’, ‘Wanis wa Labad wa Ahwal Al Bilad’ and ‘Al Gezira 2’.

The actor and director died from a heart attack on 5 August at 68 years of age.

6. Youssef Eid

Youssef Eid (photo: elcinema)

Youssef Eid became a widely acclaimed actor after his performance in the play ‘Mohammad Ali Street’ where he played the role of a bandmate. Though he had previously displayed his talent for acting, the play gave an undeniable push to his career.

The theatre and film actor’s career progressed during the 90s with his memorable roles as a supporting actor. He collaborated with many renowned Egyptian celebrities including Ahmed Zaki, Farid Shawki and Wahid Seif.

He has been praised and celebrated throughout the country for the characters he extraordinarily managed to create on stage and on the screen, including his latest role in ‘Al Harb Al Alamiyya Al Thalitha’ (World War III). Eid also had the pleasure of playing Bob Marley in a film as the actor was also known for his vocal talent.

Youssef Eid died from a heart attack on 22 September at 66.

7. Khaled Saleh

Khaled Saleh (photo: elcinema)

Distinguished television and movie star Khaled Saleh graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Law before joining independent theatres like the Hanager. A bit further on into his career, he joined the Egyptian Opera House. He became a devoted actor on the silver screen in 2000.

When he was 36, the popular actor became widely known for his spot-on performances of tyrannical villains. His most important films were ‘Tito’ and ‘The Yacoubian Building’ based on Alaa Al Aswany’s best-selling novel.

Saleh was also known for his television work on ‘Sultan Al Gharram’ and ‘Baad Al Forraq’ (Post-Split), both aired during Ramadan 2007 and 2008 respectively. The prominent Egyptian actor also appeared in films such as ‘Ahlam Haqiqia’ (Real Dreams) and the Youssef Chahine and Khaled Youssef co-directed film ‘Heya Fawda’ (This Is Chaos) in 2007 as well as ‘Al Rayes Omar Harb’ in 2008. His most recent film credits include ‘Al Maslaha’ (The Benefit) and ‘Black February’ in 2012.

Saleh passed away on 25 September, aged 50, following complications from a heart surgery he had undergone five days before his death.

8. Mariam Fakhr Al Din

Mariam Fakhr Al Din (photo: tnn)

Mariam Mohammad Fakhr Al Din began her acting career purely by chance. After winning the title of “the most beautiful face” for her European features and appearing in the French magazine ‘Images’, Mariam dedicated her life to acting.

Her first performance was the 1951 film ‘A Night of Love’ which, like most of her movies, was a romantic film from the fifties and sixties. She was a prolific actor and during her long and successful career starred in movies such as ‘Rudda Kalbi’, ‘Nour Al Lail’ and ‘Souq Al Harim’.

After having undergone surgery, the popular actress remained at the Maadi neighbourhood hospital but fell ill afterwards. She died on 3 November at 81.

9. Maali Zayed

Maali Zayed (photo: radioculturelle)

Renowned Egyptian actress Maali Zayed graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts and afterwards applied for the Faculty of Theatrical Arts. While continuing to nurture her passion for painting, she dedicated her life to acting.

The highly esteemed actress was widely known for her impulsive and often dangerous choices that characterised her impressive and brilliant career, which started with her supporting role in the film ‘Wa Da Al Omr Ya Waladi’. She quickly drew the attention of film critics, which brought her to play lead characters in TV series as well as in feature length movies.

The iconic actress had a major impact on Egyptian cinema and left a void in the country’s entertainment scene when she died on 11 November, at 61, after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

10. Nader Galal

Nader Galal (photo: cairodar)

Egyptian renowned director Nader Galal was introduced to the film industry at an early age by his parents, both pioneers of the Egyptian film industry: his mother, prominent Lebanese-native actress Mary Queen and his father, legendary Egyptian actor and director Ahmad Galal.

The celebrated writer and film director began his career at the “Film Galal” studio that his parents established in the 40s and displayed both his writing and directing talent with his debut film ‘Bedur’, in 1947.

His career in which he directed more than 50 films and several television series, gained him wide acclaim for being the master-mind behind the most memorable movies which have wowed the Egyptian audiences throughout the years and which include ‘Al-Irhabi’, ‘Al-Wad Mahrous Betaa Al-Wazir’, ‘Bakhit wa Adeela’, ‘Gazira Al-Shaytan’, ‘Salam Ya Sahby’, ‘Hassan Al-Lol’, and ‘Abbas Al-Abyad fi Al-Youm Al-Aswad’.

With the climax of his career being during the Golden age of Egyptian cinema, Galal left a mark in the country and an undeniable resonance for the future generation to follow.

He died on 16 December at the age of 73 after suffering from lung cancer.