An icon remembered: Faten Hamama died one year today

Published January 17th, 2016 - 02:44 GMT

Faten Hamama who passed away on 17 January 2015 was one of Egypt’s most prominent actresses in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. 

Hamama was born in the Delta city of Mansoura. She made her film debut when she was seven years old, featuring in Youm Saeed (Happy Day) alongside late legendary singer and composer Mohamed Abdel Wehab, and went on to star in over two dozen films.

In 1963 during her heyday, she starred in an American film called Cairo.

Hamama also acted in several TV shows, including Dameer Abla Hekmat (The Conscience of Mrs. Hekmat) in 1992 and Wagh Al-Qamar (Face of the Moon) which premiered in 2000.  

The "Lady of the Screen," as she was dubbed, won a number of awards and honours throughout her career.

She was chosen the “Star of the Century” at the 2001 Alexandria International Festival, honouring her lifetime of achievement in Egyptian cinema.

Hamama married Egyptian film star Omar Sharif in 1955. They co-starred in several movies together and became one of Egypt's most famous celebrity couples, before divorcing in the mid-1970s. Omar Sharif passed away shortly after Hamama, on 10 July 2015.

Hamama’s funeral was attended by many, including artists, who loved the iconic actress.

Faten Hamama
Faten Hamama with husband, renowned actor Omar Sharif (Photo: Al Ahram)

Throughout 2015, Egypt commemorated Hamama in a variety of ways.

In February, in celebration of her cinematic legacy, Zawya screened a selection of films starring Hamama: The Open Door, Amin, My Father, Struggle in The Pier, Empire M and The Nightingale's Prayer.

In March, Egypt's Postal Authority announced it was producing stamps that feature the portrait of Hamama.

She also adorned the official poster of the 37th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which took place between 11 and 20 November 2015. The poster was designed by artist Yasser El-Sokkary.

Faten Hamama
The 37th Cairo International Film Festival's poster

© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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