Iconic Egyptian actress and Arab film icon Faten Hamama, best known by mainstream audiences for her English-language film “Cairo,” died on Saturday, Agence France-Presse reports. She was 83.
Hamama appeared in almost 100 films, often alongside her now ex-husband, three-time Golden Globe winner Omar Sharif, and was one of Egypt’s most prominent actresses from the 1950s to early ’70s. The couple divorced in 1974.
She made her film debut at seven years old in “Youm Saeed” (“Happy Day”), alongside legendary singer Mohamed Abdel Wehab. Dubbed the “lady of the Arabic screen,” Hamama appeared in films including “Struggle in the Valley” (1954), “The Nightingale’s Prayer” (1959), “I Want a Solution” (1974) and “The Night of Fatima’s Arrest” (1985).
Hamama also appeared on several TV shows, such as 1992’s “Dameer Abla Hekmat” (“The Conscience of Mrs. Hekmat”) and 2000’s “Wagh Al-Qamar” (“Face of the Moon”).
She was named “star of the century” by the Egyptian Writers and Critics organization at the 2001 Alexandria International Film Festival.
In addition to ex-husband Omar Sharif, Hamama is survived by their son, Tarek Sharif.