Dame of Arab cinema and Egyptian icon Faten Hamama dead

  • Agencies, Cairo
  • Updated: Jan 18, 2015 15:37 IST

An icon of Arab cinema, Egyptian actor Faten Hamama died Saturday after suffering a medical crisis. She was 83.

Hamama was admitted several weeks ago to a Cairo hospital and was later released, but then had to be hospitalised again when her health deteriorated, the official Egyptian agency MENA reported.

She was one of Egypt's most prominent actors from the 1950s to the early 70s.

Born to a lower middle class family in the city of Mansura on the Nile delta, she made her movie debut in 1939 when only seven years old.

Stardom came in 1946 with the movie Angel of Mercy by Malak al Rahma, a big hit in which he showcased Hamama's talent as a dramatic actor.

With the start of the golden age of Egyptian movie in the 1950s, Hamama starred in some of the top productions such as 1954 movie Struggle in the Valley by Yusef Chahine, which got a Cannes Film Festival nomination.


A picture taken in the early 1970s shows Egyptian film star Faten Hamama posing for a picture at a Beirut restaurant during the filming of one of her films in the Lebanese capital. Known as the Dame of Arab Cinema, Hamama, 69, first captivated audiences with Youm Sai'd (Happy Day) in 1940. She married three times, including director Egypt's leading late director Ezz al-Din Zulficar and famous actor Omar Sharif. Hamama passed away on January 17, 2015 at the age of 83. (AFP)

Her second marriage was to famed Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, with whom she co-starred in the Chahine movie.

The couple went on to make many films together, the last one before their divorce being The River of Love.

Hamama appeared in several television series until she retired in 2000, when she was named 'star of the century' by the Egyptian writers and critics guild.

Inputs from IANS/EFE

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