In honor of what would have been Mary Mounib’s 114th birthday today, Google Doodle has unveiled an artistic ode to the late Arab actress and comedian. The Google Doodle, which was created by Cairo-based artist Shennawy, is a colorful illustration that depicts the late film icon sporting her signature head band and dangling earrings.
Born Marie Salim Habib Nasrallah on this day in 1905 near Damascus to a Lebanese family, the actor relocated to Cairo with her family at a young age. Before pursuing a career in acting, Mounib found work as a dancer at the Rawd al-Faraj amusement park in order to provide for her family after her father’s death, before getting involved in local productions.
Her first big break came in the 1930’s, when she joined the Rihani Ensemble, which was founded by the legendary comedian Naguib el-Rihani. The actress went on to star in several small plays before making her big screen debut in 1934 with Ibn El Shaab (Man of the People). Shortly after, the roles kept coming. Throughout her decades-long career, Mounib took on the character of a sharp spinster and a witty mother-in-law, earning her the nickname “funniest mother-in-law in Egypt”.
Google Doodle has a track record of celebrating iconic Arabic figures by way of playful illustrations, including of the late Egyptian actor Hind Rostom, British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, and revered Syrian artist Louay Kayali.