Egyptian actress Magda Al-Sabahi dies aged 88: the queen of the screen starred in 60 films

She made her big break at the age of 15

Egypt's veteran actress Magda al-Sabahi is honoured at the Damascus International Film Festival in the Syrian capital on November 7, 2010.  AFP PHOTO/ LOUAI BESHARA (Photo by LOUAI BESHARA / AFP)
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Egyptian actress and producer Magda Al-Sabahi has died at the age of 88.

The news was announced on the star’s official Facebook page on Thursday, with many people paying tribute to her long career. Her daughter Ghada Nafeh confirmed that she had died following a long period of poor health.

Born Afaf Ali Kamel Al-Sabahi, she became one of the biggest stars in Egyptian cinema, making her big break at the age 15 when she starred as the lead in Jamila al Jaza'iriya, made by Youssef Chahine.

She went on to play the lead role in more than 60 films under her stage name Madga between 1949 and 1969.

Other notable film credits include El Naseh (1949), Ayna Omry (1957) and El Omr Lahza (1978).

As well as acting, Al-Sabahi founded a film production company, through which she presented many films including Wife of Five Men, Age for a Moment, and Beautiful.

She supported others in the arts, too: in 1995, at the age of 64, she was elected president of the Egyptian Women in Film Association, and in 2016, she was the winner of the Nile Award for Arts.

Al-Sabahi was married to late actor Ihab Nafeh, and the couple had one daughter, Ghada.