17 January, 2018 marks the third anniversary of the iconic actress Faten Hamama’s death at the age of 84. She was not given an ordinary title any actress could have been called, she was given a durable and permanent title that carried on with her even after her death.
In commemoration of her life, we decided to share with you everything you need to know about the iconic figure.
The Egyptian diva was born on 27 May, 1931 and took the first step in her career at the age of nine in the movie Yom Said directed by the Musician Mohamed Abdelwahab. In the shoot, the filmmakers were very impressed to the extent that she was given more lines and scenes than the originally scripted. Four years after, she was given a role in the film, Russassa fil Qalb again with Abdelwahab.
At the age of 15 years, the actress started a new stage of her career in melodramas and starred alongside Actor and Director Youssef Wahby. Although a teenager, the first movie she appeared in Malak Al-Rahma and it was uphill from there.
The 1950’s were known as “The Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema” and a time when new directors came under the spotlight. Across her career, Hamama starred in around more than 50 movies, most of them succeeded and won her the love of millions of fans more and more everyday. The star appeared in a number of movies among them was one of her most successful movies, Siraa’ Fil-Wadi. The actress was also known for the movie El-Haram that screened at the Cannes Festival and was chosen as one of best five movies ever made in Egypt. She also starred in the movie Afwah wa Araneb and won two Best Actress awards from two international festivals, and it was the highest-grossing Egyptian film ever made at that time. Her last movie was Ard Al-Ahlam which was shown in 23 countries in the Middle East.
After a glorious career that ended in 1993, the queen of the screens starred in a mini series in the year 2000 stealing back people’s hearts and winning new ones as well.
Awards and Honors
She won several awards afterwards for her phenomenal acting, both national and international. The first prize for acting she ever received was in 1951 for the movie Ana Al-Madi. The international awards she won include the Special Award at the Tehran International Film Festival in 1972 for her performance in Kheit Al-Rafei’, as well as The Special Award at the Moscow International Film Festival for her role in the film Empire M. The legend was also featured in the Cannes Festival four times, the first time being the movie Ibn El-Nil then Sira fi Alwadi, El-Leila El Akhira, and finally El Haram and the movies were chosen to be part of the main competition for the Prix International award.The last prize she received was the Prize of recognition from first Sala International Film Festival, Morocco, for her contribution to women’s issues through her artistic career in 2004.
She was first honored by the Decoration of Creativity of first degree from Lebanon in 1953. Then later on she was selected as Jury Member for the Berlin International Film Festival (1964) and was selected as the President of Juries for the first Paris Biennale of Arab Cinema in 1992. Hamama was also honored with the Lifetime of Achievement Award in 2009, she was also rewarded and honorary doctorate from the American University in Beirut in 2013 and finally, in 2015, she was honored as the face of Cairo’s International Film Festival.
Marriages and Children
In 1947, Faten Hamama married Director Ezz El-Dine Zulficar, the brother of Salah El-Dine Zulficar. Their marriage lasted till 1954 and together they had one daughter, Nadia. Later she married the late legend Omar Sherif from 1954 to 1974. The couple had a son named Tarek Sherif. And finally, she married an Egyptian Doctor Abdel Wahab Mahmoud in 1975, with whom she lived till her death in 2015.