Egyptian cinema star Kamal al-Shennawy dies at 89

Egyptian cinema icon Kamal al-Shennawy died early Monday at the age of 89. 

Shennawy acted in more than 200 films and TV dramas in a glittering career that spanned 62 years.

Born on 26 December 1921 in Mansoura, he worked as a high school arts teacher and made art himself before embarking on his cinematic career in 1947 by acting in “Ghani Harb” (Nouveau Riche), directed by Niazy Mostafa.

Shennawy's last film was “Al-Wad Mahrous Beta al-Wazir”  (Mahrous, the Minister's Man), costarring Egyptian comedian Adel Imam.  

In addition to his numerous acting roles, he directed a movie in 1965 called “Tanablet al-Sultan” (Lotus Eaters).

Shennawy's acting roles varied as he carved out his cinematic career. At the beginning he tended to appear in light-hearted movies costarring comedian Ismail Yassin. Soon, however, he took on more serious roles that required greater skill, such as “Al-Liss wal Kilab” (The Thief and the Dogs), “Al-Mar’a al-Maghoula” (The Unknown Woman), “Hobbi Al-Waheed” (My Only Love), “Al-Harib” (The Escapee),  and “Al-Awwama 70” (Docked Boat 70).

In recent years he went back to lighter, comic roles such as those he played in “Al-Irhab wal Kabab” (Terrorism and Kebab) and “Tata wi Rica wi Kazem Beih" (Tata, Rica and Kazem Beih).

Singers including Shadia, Sabah and Laila Mourad starred with Shennawy in several movies such as “Mel Alb lil Alb” (Heart to Heart) and “Al-Habib Al-Maghoul” (The Unknown Lover).

In 1996, Egyptian cinema's centennial year, five of his movies – namely “Amir al-Intiqam” (The Prince of Revenge), “The Thief and the Dogs,” “Al-Mostaheel” (The Impossible), “Al-Ragol allazi Faqada Zilloh” (The Man Who Lost His Shadow) and “Al-Karnak” – were chosen among the best 100 movies in the history of Egyptian cinema.

Shennawy also starred in several TV series, including “Zeinab wal Arsh” (Zeinab and the Throne), “Hend wal Doctor Noaman” (Hend and Doctor Noaman), “Awlad Hadret al-Nazer” (The Principal’s Sons), and “Ledawaee Amneyyah” (For Security Reasons). His last TV series was “Akher al-Meshwar“ (The End of the Road).

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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