Egyptian actor Hesham Selim dies aged 64

The actor had been a recluse since announcing his cancer diagnosis in May in a televised phone-in

Hesham Selim, pictured at Dubai International Film Festival in 2010, worked with Egypt’s biggest names in TV and film during his five-decade-long career. Photo: Getty Images For Dubai International Film Festival
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Veteran Egyptian actor Hesham Selim died on Thursday, at 64, after battling cancer for a few months.

Selim’s lifelong friend and the Egyptian actors’ guild president Ashraf Zaki broke the news on Thursday morning on Instagram. Zaki’s tribute post was followed by many others from Egypt’s A-list.

According to Zaki, a funeral procession for the actor will be held later on Thursday in the Greater Cairo district of Sheikh Zayed, the affluent suburb where Selim had lived.

News that Selim had been diagnosed with cancer first broke in May and was confirmed by him in a televised phone-in, during which he said he was staying in Ain Al Sokhna, a Red Sea beach town outside Cairo.

Following the diagnosis, which was met with sadness from the country’s acting community, Selim became a recluse for months while receiving treatment, leaving many in the media wondering how he was doing.

Zaki, in an interview two months ago, said he had been unable to reach Selim but was hoping for the best.

“Thank god, I am fine and everything will be OK," Selim told Al Tase'a, a national talk show. "And maybe these days cancer is preferable to getting Covid or any of these other diseases that kill a person in three days. Anything that God brings is fine and I am doing well until now."

Born in 1958, the actor made his acting debut in 1972 alongside renowned actress Faten Hamamah in the hit film Emberatoriet meem (or “M” Empire in English) and delivered a memorable performance for which he continues to be praised for until today.

Selim’s five-decade career has had him working with some of Egypt’s biggest names on many successful films and TV series.

His latest work, Hagma Mortada (Counterattack), a spy thriller series released during Ramadan last year, was also highly praised and became one of the most-watched shows of that season.

He was the son of Saleh Selim, a football legend-turned-actor who died in 2002.

Selim is survived by three children, Nour, Zein and Esmat.

Scroll through the gallery below to see other stars we've lost in 2022 so far

Updated: May 09, 2023, 12:56 PM