The beloved Egyptian actress, Faten Hamama, died on 17 January, aged 83, leaving an empty space in the Arab film industry.
Born in 1931, Arab film icon Faten Hamama made her debut on screen when she was less than 10 years of age, as she began marking her long and successful career, in which she shined in almost 100 films.
She also appeared on screen along with former husband Omar Sharif, the prominent Egyptian actor to whom she was married for nearly 20 years after her first marriage with director Ezzel Dine Zulficar.
Better known as the “Lady of the Arab Screen”, the legendary actress worked with masters of Egypt’s film industry such as Youssef Chahine throughout the brightest years of her career which spanned from the 50s until the 70s. She graced the Arab screen during the Golden Age of the Egyptian cinema, becoming one of the most celebrated actresses of the 50s when she also met three-time Golden Globe winner Omar Sharif.
Egyptian actor Omar Sharif (photo: mediagallery)
The two were among the most legendary and hottest couples of the screen, widely praised in the whole region for their impressive roles which have enraptured Arab audiences, as they both received international acclaim.
They divorced in 1974 after Christian Sharif converted to Islam to marry Hamama who, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) news agency, was the only love of his life.
The Egyptian renowned actress starred in films including the 1961 ‘River of Love’, where she appeared together with Sharif, and in many other movies which varied from romance roles to movies advocating women’s rights and condemning social injustices.
Faten Hamama was a star of the Egypt’s golden age of cinema during the 50s (photo: beatycribtv)
Hamama’s famous roles wowed the silver screen include ‘Struggle in the Valley’ (1954), ‘The Nightingale’s Prayer’ (1959), ‘I Want a Solution’ (1974) and ‘The Night of Fatima’s Arrest’ (1985).
She also appeared on TV shows and received many awards for her roles. She was also honoured on several occasions, and she received the lifetime achievement prize in 2001 after being named the “star of the century” in the Egyptian cinema at the Alexandria International Film Festival.
After being hospitalized in recent weeks, the beloved actress and screen icon died on Saturday, due to health complications, as reported by Egypt’s official news agency MENA. Hamama left behind her son Tarek Sharif, her daughter Nadia Zulficar and third husband Abdel-Wahab Mahmoud.