Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

6th Death Anniversary of Shadia Observed

Tue 28 Nov 2023 | 11:58 AM
Ahmed Emam

The 6th death of legendary actress Shadia, who was famous for her roles in light comedies and drama in the 1950s and 1960s, is being observed today.

Born in 1931 in Egypt, Shadia was widely regarded as the first female superstar of the Egyptian film industry. The actress started her career at the age of 14.

In a career spanning 40 years, Shadia featured in over 110 films, 11 TV series, and 1 play. The late actress was one of the most inspiring stars of Egypt's showbiz. Many actresses model themselves like her even today.

Apart from her acting prowess, she also carved a name for herself as one of the most talented female singers.

Shadia was a talented singer who set several records with her Arabic songs. She was the first receptionist of the honorary doctorate of the Egyptian Academy of Arts and won the Cairo Festival Awards multiple times. She was a favorite of many composers and recorded many songs in a short time.

In 1946, iconic director Mohamed Abdel-Gawad was searching for a new face with Egyptian and European features for his upcoming film, Flowers and Thorns. He chose Shadia, who had a striking resemblance to Hollywood's biggest female superstar, Audrey Hepburn, to play the lead role. She also sang in the film and in The Tramp, replacing belly dancer Hekmat Fahmy.

After that, Shadia became one of the top female stars of Egyptian and Arab cinema in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. She starred in numerous romantic films, including We Loved Each Other, The Sun Has Glowed, One Two, Ya Deblet El-Khutuba (The Engagement Ring), Maksoufa (I Am Shy), Ahbek Wa Adahi fi Hobbek (I Love You and Sacrifice in My Loving You), and Meen Qallek Tuskun fi Haratna (Who Told You to Live in Our Neighbourhood).

Shadia was married three times. Her first husband was actor Emad Hamdi, followed by engineer Aziz Fathi, whom she divorced in the 1960s. She then married actor Salah Zulfikar in 1964, but they divorced in 1969.

Shadia made over 117 films during her three-decade-long career before retiring in 1984 at the age of 50. Her last film was Raya & Skina, in which she played Raya, released in 1982.

Shadia passed away in 2017 at the age of 86 after a long illness and a recent stroke.