Egyptian diva, actress and singer Shadia, has died at 86

A man hold a newspaper with the photo of Egyptian singer and actress Shadia, during her funeral procession, at the Sayeda Nafisa Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Shadia died at the age of 86. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
People leave after prayers for Egyptian singer and actress Shadia, during her funeral procession, at the Sayeda Nafisa Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Shadia died at the age of 86. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
People carry the coffin of Egyptian singer and actress Shadia, during her funeral procession, at the Sayeda Nafisa Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Shadia died at the age of 86. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Women mourn during the funeral of Egyptian singer and actress Shadia, at the Sayeda Nafisa Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. Shadia died at the age of 86. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

CAIRO — Shadia, an Egyptian actress and singer who captivated millions for decades with memorable singles and iconic film roles, has died. She was 86.

Born Fatimah Shaker in 1931 but known throughout her career by her single stage name, Shadia suffered a stroke earlier this month and later went into a coma. She was admitted to a Cairo military hospital where she was paid an intensely publicized visit by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and his wife. She died late on Tuesday of complications.

Hundreds of mourners turned up Wednesday for her funeral at a historic mosque in Cairo's middle-class Sayedah Nafeesa district, with some carrying poster portraits of her.

"She has been away from the entertainment scene for 30 years, but she has throughout remained close to people's hearts," said prominent film critic Tareq el-Shinnawy.

Shadia has more than a 100 films to her name and hundreds of singles in a career that stretches back to the late 1940s. She belongs to an era in the Egyptian entertainment industry that critics and entertainers call the "beautiful" or "golden" age, a time that roughly stretched from the 1940s to the 1970s, when some of Egypt's best movies were produced.

With her silky and playful voice and perfectly honed acting skills, Shadia was at the heart of that era, winning a fan base that stretches across the entire Arab world. Her film roles were diverse and engaging, ranging from willful country girls and career city women, to comical portrayals of emotionally disturbed women and hopeless romantics.

Her roles in two films based on novels by Egypt's late Naguib Mahfouz has won her lavish praise from the Nobel literature laureate himself. "Shadia is a top quality actress who managed to give the prose of my novels body, blood and a distinctive form," he once said about two of her most memorable roles: A rebellious woman in "Midq Alley" and a prostitute in "The Thief and the Dogs."

Her songs have defined the entertainment scene for decades, mostly with hit singles in Egypt's distinctive vernacular Arabic. One patriotic song of hers, "Oh, Egypt, my beloved," is routine radio and television fare on national holidays to this day. Playful singles like "Drive slowly so we can chill" is one of many light-hearted songs that find resonance with most Egyptians to this day.

Shadia abruptly walked away from the limelight about three decades ago, embracing a strict version of Islam, donning the Islamic hijab and living a life of near total seclusion.

"I don't want to wait until the limelight slowly, slowly moves away from me," she told an interviewer at the time of her retirement. "I don't want to play the roles of old mothers in movies after people grew accustomed to seeing me as the young woman in a lead role. I just don't like people to see lines on my face."

Shadia was married three times in her lifetime, but had no children. Two of her marriages were to film stars and heartthrobs Imad Hamdy and Salah Zulfaqar, with whom she co-starred in some of her most successful movies.

___

Associated Press writer Samy Magdy contributed to this report.

You may also interested in

Iranian director to skip Oscars over Trump's...

Jan 29, 2017

An Oscar-nominated Iranian director says he will not attend this year's Academy Awards because of a...

Canine shelter takes on Tehran stray dog problem...

Mar 16, 2017

Tehran government hires dog shelter to deal more humanely with burgeoning problem of strays in...

Iran signs its biggest-ever car deal with...

Aug 7, 2017

Iran has signed the country's biggest-ever car deal to build tens of thousands of cars annually...

Iraqi man loses 14 relatives in Mosul strike

Apr 3, 2017

An Iraqi man has lost 14 relatives in the March 17 strike that killed more than 100 people in...

After liberation from IS, Fallujah struggles to...

Jun 4, 2017

In Iraq's Sunni heartland, residents are still struggling to rebuild nearly a year after their...

People also read these

Iranian director to skip Oscars over Trump's...

Jan 29, 2017

An Oscar-nominated Iranian director says he will not attend this year's Academy Awards because of a...

Optimism in Iraq fuels revived interest in...

Jan 17, 2018

Promise of better days after Iraq's victory against Islamic State group fuels interest in classic...

The Latest: Trump gets royal treatment from...

May 21, 2017

President Donald Trump is getting the kind of royal treatment in Saudi Arabia that must be a...

2M Muslims gather near Mecca for peak of hajj...

Aug 31, 2017

Around 2 million people from around the world gather for the peak day of the hajj pilgrimage near...

AP Glance: The Muslim hajj pilgrimage in numbers

Sep 1, 2017

As Muslims around the world celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday on Friday, which coincides with the...

About Us

Originally founded in 2015, Voyage Times publishes articles on travel and lifestyle for travelers, leisure seekers, and culture hunters from around the world.

Contact us: sales@voyagetimes.com

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress