Celebrated Egyptian actor Omar El-Hariri died on Sunday, 16 October, at the age of 89 following a long battle with bone cancer. He was hospitalised last week after collapsing at a rehearsal for the children’s stage play, ‘Hadiket El-Azkeyaa’ (‘Smart Garden’).
El Hariri, who spent nearly 60 years in theatre and television, was also renowned for his participation in more than 100 films.
Born Omar Mohammed Saleh al-Hariri on 16 June 1922,El-Hariri made his film debutat the age of ten, when he briefly appearedin the 1937 silent film ‘Salamafi Kheir’ (‘Salama is Safe’) starring Naguib Rihani.
In 1947, he graduated from the Higher Institute of Arab Art Representation, and, two years later, took his first major movie role after being chosen by Egyptian actor Yusuf Wahbi to participate in the film‘Korsi El-Iteraf’ (‘Confession Chair’).
El-Hariri subsequently appeared in more than 103 cinematic productions, including
‘Wesada El-Khaleya’ (‘Abandoned Pillow’); ‘Sukkar Hanim’ (‘Dame Sukkar’); ‘El-Nasser Salah El-Din’ (‘Saladin’); ‘El-Khaena’ (‘Traitor’); and ‘Nahr El-Hob’ (‘River of Love’). His only leading role, however, was in the film ‘Akhla min Einy’ (‘More Precious than My Eyes’), written and directed by Ezzeddine Zulfiqar in 1955.
Throughout the course of his career, El-Hariri won numerous awards for his film work, culminating in a recognition award at the 2003 Egyptian Film Festival. Shortly afterward, prominent film critic Zeinab Aziz wrote a biography of the film actor entitled ‘Omar El-Hariri: Kaos Kozah’(‘Omar Hariri: Rainbow’).
Hisfuneral is being held today, Monday, 17 October, at Cairo’s Abu Bakr El-Sadeek Mosque followingnoon prayers.