Nadia Lutfi, one of the most popular Egyptian actresses during Egypt’s golden age of cinema, died on Tuesday, February 4, following complications from an undisclosed illness. She was aged 83.
Lutfi was admitted into the intensive care unit of the Maadi Hospital in Egypt over the last few days. According to Egyptian media, her health was in decline and though she showed signs of getting better, she fell into a coma shortly before she died. Her death was confirmed to Egyptian media by the head of Egypt’s Academy of arts, Ashraf Zaki.
Born Poula Mohamed Shafiq, Lutfi took on her stage name when she was 24 year old, just before her film debut in 1958. The name Nadia Tufi was inspired from the name of a character in the 1957 film La Anam. The film starred Omar Sharif and Faten Hamama, who were the reigning king and queen of Egyptian cinema at the time.
Lutfi made close to 50 films in the first 11 years of her career and starred in films based on the works of Nobel-prize winner Naguib Mahfouz. Her career wound down in the 1970s as Egypt’s Golden Age of films came to a close. The Cairo International Film Festival paid tribute to the star by using her photo for their official poster in 2014.
Lutfi released a statement on January 16 following the death of her friend Magda Al Sabahi. The 88-year-old was an Egyptian actress who took on the lead role of more than 60 films under her stage name Magda.
“Magda’s death was very painful for me. She was a teacher and an artist that has left her mark in the artistic history of the Arab world,” she said, adding that she had wanted to attend the solace but was unable to due to her health.
“I am a lot better now than I was yesterday,” she said in the sound bite, “I hope Magda’s daughter will forgive me my absence, which was due to health-related circumstances.”
A date for the funeral has not yet been announced.