Egyptian award-winning film, television and theatre actor Hamdy Ahmed died Friday morning aged 82 after sudden health complications.
"The funerary prayer will be held today at El-Hosary Mosque in 6th of October after Friday prayers," said Sameh El-Sareity, board member of the Egyptian Actors Syndicate, in a statement to MENA news.
Born on 9 November 1933 in the southern city of Sohag, Ahmed starred in a large body of television and film productions, with over 35 plays, 25 silver screen appearances, 30 TV films, 89 television series, and nearly 3,000 hours on radio.
One of his most prominent appearances and one that brought him to the limelight was his role of Mahjoub Abdel-Dayem in Salah Abou Seif’s 1966 drama titled Cairo 30 (Al-Kahira Thalateen), a film that was nominated in the 39th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Ahmed was granted the Grand Prize from The Arab League for his role in the film.
Another iconic role was in renowned director Youssef Chahin’s 1970 film El-Ard, in which Ahmed’s character Mohamed Affendi is a peasant whose superior education renders him arrogant and stuck up towards his family and the people of his village. He also worked with Chahine on several other films such as El-Yawm El-Sadis (The Sixth Day, 1986) and Eskandria… Lih? (Alexandria… Why?, 1979).
He frequently portrayed the typical Egyptian peasant or a low income office worker, and as such is remembered by his audience as the face of such characters.
His large filmography includes films such as: Abnaa Al-Samt (Sons of Silence, 1974) a historical drama directed by Mohamed Rady; Shafika wa Metwalli (Shafika and Metwalli, 1979) written and directed by Aly Badrakhan and starring Souad Hosny and Ahmed Zaki; Zawgat Ragol Mohim (The Wife of an Important Man, 1987) directed by Mohamed Khan; Nasser 56 (1996) by Mohamed Fadel; the thriller Ard El-Khof (Land of Fear, 1999) by Daoud Abdel Sayed; Souq Al Motaa (1999) directed by Samir Seif; Ayam el-Saddat (Days of Sadat, 2001) by Mohamed Khan; and Maali Al-Wazeer (His Excellency, the Minster, 2002) by Samir Seif.
In 1966, while he was with the Television Theatre Troupe, Ahmed won the prize for Best Rising Actor.
He went on to pursue several iconic roles. In 1973, he appeared in a theatre production titled Madresset Al-Moshaghibeen (School of the Wicked) and then in Al-Eyal Kebrat (The Kids Grew Up, 1978) for which he was praised by both audiences and critics. In the 1980s he was supposed to take part in a production of Raya w Sikina, starring Sohair El Babli, Shadia and Abdel Moneim Madbouly, but the role was taken by Ahmed Bedair.
He held the position of the Comedy Theatre (Masrah El-Comedy) director in 1985.
Some of his most significant roles in television include Al-Hara, Gomhouriyet Zefta, Bawabet El-Metwaly, Al-Liss wa Al-Kelab, Sharea El-Mawardy and Yanabea Al-Eshq.
Ahmed was also involved in the political sphere and was voted a parliamentary representative in the People’s Assembly (Maglis Al-Shaab) for the Cairo district of Bulaq from 1979 till 1984.
He was jailed by the British forces in Egypt when he was 16 years old for participating in a student demonstration against the occupation in 1949.
Till the day of his death, he remained an active political writer in Al-Ahrar daily newspaper and El-Osboa, among other publications.
Ahmed was very active in his stance against normalising relations with Israel, and was a member of all Arab-Israeli-boycotting committees.
He was also the founder of several people’s committees, including one for peasant rights and another for Iraqi children relief.
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