Soad Hosny: 'Cinderella of Egyptian Cinema' honoured with Google Doodle

The beloved actress, known for her romantic films, died in London in 2001 at the age of 58

Google has paid tribute to late Egyptian actress Soad Hosny with a Doodle on what would have been her 79th birthday. Photo: Google
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Often known as the "Cinderella of Egyptian Cinema", Soad Hosny has been honoured with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 79th birthday. Hosny was one of the most beloved stars of her generation.

Born in Cairo on January 26, 1943, Hosny's five-decade career started at an early age, when she began singing for children's radio programmes at the age of 3. She made her film debut in 1959's Hasan wa Naimah, based on Romeo and Juliet, and would go on to star in a number of romantic films, including her most memorable one, Khally ballak men ZouZou in 1974, in which she played a college student who falls in love with her teacher, alongside Hussein Fahmy.

Hosny also took on hard-hitting roles in political films such as 1975's Karnak, an adaptation of the book Karnak Cafe by Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz which looks at state violence in the 1960s. She appeared in numerous films with some of Egyptian cinema's leading lights including Omar Sharif, Salah Zulfikar and Rushdi Abazah. In all, Hosny appeared in 83 films, with many making it to the list of Cairo International Film Festival's Top 100 Egyptian Films in the 20th Century.

Known for her beauty and striking personality, Hosny was linked to a number of stars during her career, including with actor and singer Abdel Halim Hafez. She was married four times, including a short marriage with Zaky Fateen Abdel Wahab, son of director Fateen Abdel Wahab and actress Laila Mourad, which lasted five months.

An unspecified illness put a stop to Hosny's career in the 1990s, with her final film appearance in 1991's Al-raii wa al nesaa (The Shepherd and the Women), directed by her ex-husband Ali Badr Khan.

Her death on June 21, 2001 at the age of 58, after falling from the balcony of a London apartment, shocked her fans, with many believing that Hosny may have committed suicide.

Speaking to Egypt Today in 2019 to mark the anniversary of her death, director and actor Hasan Youssef, who made 15 films with Hosny, said her talent was almost unlimited.

"Soad was incredibly talented; she had the ability to perfectly play any role whether it is comedic or tragic. She had charisma and charm. Yet, she was unappreciated and died alone," Youssef said.

Scroll through the gallery below for previous Google Doodle tributes of personalities from the Middle East:

Updated: November 15, 2022, 3:56 AM