Egyptian actress Ragaa Hussein dies aged 84

The veteran actress built an impressive career on both the big screen and the small

Tributes pour in for celebrated Egyptian actress Ragaa Hussein, who has died aged 84. EPA
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Egyptian actress Ragaa Hussein has died aged 84.

The news was announced by Ashraf Zaki, head of Egypt's Actors Syndicate on Tuesday.

While no cause of death has been revealed, it has been reported that Hussein had been battling an unspecified prolonged illness.

Tributes for the much-loved actress have been led by Egypt’s first lady, Entissar El Sisi.

“I mourn with great sadness and sorrow the death of actress Ragaa Hussein, who passed away today,” she posted on Facebook.

"She was an authentic Egyptian woman who was loyal to her country, her family and her art … May God have mercy on her soul.”

Tunisian actress Hend Sabry also took to social media to pay tribute. "Today we lost someone of great stature," she said on Twitter. "Farewell to the cultured, committed and capable artist Ragaa Hussein."

Egyptian actor Ahmed Fahmy also mourned the death, describing Hussein as a "great artist."

Born in 1937 in the Qalyubia Governorate north of Cairo, Hussein got her start in 1958 after joining a troupe led by actor Najib El Rihani.

It wasn't long before she transitioned to the big screen and starred in important films directed by Youssef Chahine, such as 1976's Awdet El Ebn El Dal (Return of the Prodigal Son), which available on Netflix.

Her other significant films include 1961's Al-Layaly Al-dafe'a (Warm Nights), alongside Lebanese actress and singer Sabah, and Afwah wa araneb (Mouth and Rabbits) which had her sharing screen time with Egyptian acting great Mahmoud Yassin.

Hussain also found success in television by playing a string of supporting roles, including in the true-crime drama Raya wa Sekina and ensemble drama Mared Al-Gabal.

Hussain picked up sporadic roles over the past decade as maternal characters who were often stern and tender, such as in 2017's Wahat Al Ghoroub (Sunset Oasis) and 2010's Ayza Atgawez (I Want to Get Married).

In 2020, Hussain’s expansive career was honoured by Egypt’s Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem as part of that year's Egyptian Theatre Day celebrations.

Hussein was reportedly buried on Tuesday after a funeral prayer was held at El-Shorta Mosque in Cairo’s Sheikh Zayed district.

Updated: August 09, 2022, 4:07 PM