Egyptian actress Lebleba to receive lifetime achievement award at Cairo Film Festival

The veteran performer is known for her comedic roles spanning more than 50 years

Lebleba walking at the 2021 Red Sea Festival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Egyptian actress Lebleba will be honoured at the Cairo International Film Festival in November.

The veteran performer, 75, whose real name is Ninochka Kupelian, will receive the Golden Pyramid Award in recognition of a career spanning more than five decades.

The news was released ahead of the annual film festival’s return from November 13 to 22.

The award was announced on the event’s social media accounts by festival head and acclaimed actor Hussein Fahmy.

"Lebleba has a rich history and has starred in over 88 film," he said.

"She has an impressive career and she hasn't been awarded by the Cairo Film Festival before. I wish her the best of luck and success in her bright future to come."

Who is Lebleba?

Born in Cairo to an Egyptian family of Armenian descent, Lebleba began her career as a child theatre actress.

She became renowned for her work with the Egyptian National Theatre and gained popularity for her imitations of famous Egyptian celebrities.

Her charm landed her a number of film roles from the age of 5, including minor parts in El Nagham Hazeen (1960), Kadi Al Gharam (1962) and Agaza Bil Afeya (1966).

It was in the mid-seventies that Lebleba’s comedic stylings resulted in starring roles alongside Egyptian actor Adel Imam.

The duo’s natural chemistry, with Imam’s droll and zany manner in opposition to Lebleba’s exuberant and fiery persona, made them a box office draw with hits, including Khally Balak Men Giranak (1979) and Essabet Hamada Wi Tutu (1982).

The later stages of her career had her partly shed the humour to take on more dramatic roles in films such as El Akhar (1999), Villa 69 (2013) and Casablanca (2019).

With this year's film El Gawahergy, Lebleba has returned to comedy in a supporting role alongside Egyptian comedian Mohamed Henedi.

Fahmy also described Lebleba’s career as one dedicated to her craft.

“This is a worthy tribute to an artist who has spent her life in presenting dozens of cinematic works with love and sincerity, and made every effort to make what she presents worthy of being shown to an audience who loves her appearance on the charming screen,” he said.

"Despite her giving over the years of her life, she still enriches the industry with her participation."

Films screening at Toronto International Film Festival 2022 — in pictures

Updated: August 24, 2022, 3:34 AM