Veteran Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme mourned the death of Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Giddawy who died on Sunday following a 43-day battle with the coronavirus
On his Instagram account Van Damme wrote "I'm in shock! It's very sad to read that legendary Egyptain actress Ragaa El-Giddawy has passed away after a brave battle against coronavirus. I met her a few months ago, she was so full of life, cheerful and majestic – I cannot believe she's gone… but, she will always live in my memory with her lovely spirit and beautiful laughs. May Allah bless her soul."
El-Giddawy was hospitalised on 24 May after being infected with the virus, and had since mostly been kept in the intensive care unit (ICU) at an isolation hospital in Ismailia, east of Cairo.
Nagaat Aly Hassan El-Giddawy, aka Ragaa El-Giddawy, was elected “Miss Cotton 1958”, giving her the chance to become a mannequin.
El-Giddawy, 81, is one of Egypt’s most beloved and prolific actresses with a career dating back to the late 1950s.
She was married to football player Hassan Mokhtar and had a daughter, Amira.
El-Giddawy started acting in cinema and theatre with her aunt Tahia Karioka, an iconic belly-dancer in the history of Egyptian cinema.
She appeared in hundreds of films, plays and TV shows throughout a fruitful six-decade career, collaborating with almost all of the country's best writers, directors and actors of successive generations.