Google dedicated Monday’s Google Doodle to Hind Rostom, one of the major stars of the golden age of Egyptian cinema, marking what would have been her 87th birthday.
Born in Alexandria on 12 November 1931 as Nariman Hussein Murad, Rostom became one of the most beloved Egyptian screen icons of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Her physical resemblance to the Hollywood star earned her the nickname in Egypt of “the Marilyn Monroe of the Orient”.
At the beginning of her career, her European look left film producers unenthusiastic about casting her, given the predominance of brunettes with more typical Egyptian features such as Madiha Youssri, Faten Hamama, Magda, and Shadia.
Their minds soon changed, however, and she was deemed suitable for “poor/helpless girl” roles in the melodramas that dominated cinema before the 1952 Revolution.
She then went on to portray seductresses, such as in My Heart is Restored, and Night Lovers, both directed by Kamal Attia in 1958, and in Shafiqa the Copt (1963), directed by Hassan Al-Imam.
Among her most prominent roles was Rumour of Love (1960) directed by Fateen Abdel-Wahab.
She then went on to be cast in a wide variety of roles beyond the seductress/poor girl, demonstrating that she was a unique actress who didn’t solely rely on her physical features, but rather upon her superb acting capabilities.
She starred as an Upper Egyptian woman seeking revenge in Blood on the Nile (1961), directed by Niazi Mostafa, an ascetic uninterested in life’s pleasures in The Nun (1965), by Hassan El-Seify, a crippled woman in The Deposit (1965) by Hussein Helmy Al-Mohandes, a famous author in Exit from Heaven (1967) by Mahmoud Zulfikar, a loving wife in A Word of Honour (1972) by Hossam Eddine Mostafa, and a mature mother in My Life is Agony (1979) by Ali Reda.
The latter was her final film appearance, after which she refused all attempts to coax her out from retirement until her death on 8 August 2011.
She acted in over 80 films in total throughout her career.