Today marks the 96th birth anniversary of Rushdy Abaza, the legendary Egyptian actor who played a significant role in Arab cinema.
Abaza, who is regarded as the most renowned name in the history of Egyptian cinema, was born on the third of August, 1926 to an Italian mother and an Egyptian father of Turkish origin.
His successful film career began after the success of the film Conspiracy (1953) by Kamal El-Sheikh, where he played a young man coming between an innocent wife (Madiha Youssri) and her husband (Yehia Chahine). During that time many directors have written their roles in front of them.
He was one of the most popular villains, comedians, and romantic stars, starring in films such as ‘Al-Ragol Al-Thany’, The Second Man, An Angel and a Devil, In A Man in Our Home, Way of Hope (1957), Life is Gone My Son (1978), and My Dear Daughter (1971).
In 1948, the maven director Kamal Barakat was looking for a new face and a young man with aristocratic features to play the leading role in The Little Millionaire.
Barakat was attracted to Abaza’s western countenance and handsomeness, which met the age’s standards.
Abaza had the good looks of an Italian-Egyptian; alongside his good acting skills, athletic physique, light-heartedness, and charisma. Thus, he chose him for the main role.
In the following year, director Kamal El-Sheikh chose him to play the leading role in Conspiracy (1953), with female lead Madiha Youssry.
Then came his lucky break in They Made Me a Criminal (1954, Atef Salem); putting him in the ‘Jeune premier’ lineup, a position he retained for almost twenty years.
According to Elcinema, Abaza married five times; the first was famous dancer Taheya Carioca, lasting for three years. The second was an American lady named Barbrawho who is the mother of her daughter Kismit. The third was an Egyptian belly dancer named Samya Gamal. After he married the veteran actress and dancer Gamal, both paired a group of successful movies.
He is most famous for his collaborations with a number of renowned stars like his ex-wife Sabah, Madiha Kamel, Mervat Amin, Nadia Lotfi, and Soaad Hosni.