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“Lady of the Arabic Screen” Faten Hamama Passes Away at 83


Having graced the silver screen since the tender age of seven, Faten Hamama (born in 1931) was an iconic Egyptian actress. Known as the “Lady of the Arabic Screen,” she passed away this past Saturday, January 17, at the age of 83.

Heralded as the “Star of the Century” by the Egyptian Writers and Critics Organization, Hamama was featured in nearly 100 films during her career. As the star of the golden age of cinema in Egypt, she married Omar Sharif in 1955 and was thrust into the spotlight as one half of the power couple. Hamama and Sharif also starred opposite one another as romantic leads in the films Ayyamna Al-Holwa (Our Sweet Days), La Anam (Sleepless), and Nahr Al-Hob (The River of Love) to the delight of their legions of fans. Later in her career, Hamama moved to television and was awarded the Egyptian Best TV Actor of the Year for her work in the series Wajh al-Qamar.

Beyond the multitude of film accolades and honors to her name, Hamama was also known for her beauty—her dark, almond-shaped eyes, mass of curly hair, and pouty lips made her nothing short of mesmerizing on screen.

Take a look at this rare footage of the actress taken during her prime in an interview in 1963 and see how her striking looks and personality attribute to her allure on the screen.

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