Syrian actor Farouk Al-Jumaat, famous for portraying Bedouin characters and for lending his voice to the dubbed Arabic version of 1989 anime The Jungle Book, has died. He was 63.
His death was announced by The Syndicate of Syrian Artists, as well as by his son, Shawqi, who posted a tribute message on his Facebook page noting that the Al Hayba actor was buried on Monday afternoon in his home town of Jabab, a village in Al-Sanamayn district of the Daraa governorate.
Born in 1958, Al-Jumaat was a graduate of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus and worked in Syria’s National Theatre. He began his acting career on stage, performing in a series of plays including Rihlat Hanzala (Hanzala's Journey) and Qabl Ma Yazoub El Thalj (Before the Snow Melts).
However, Al-Jumaat was better known for his roles on the small screen, in which he often played nomadic personalities, accurately capturing the Bedouin Arabic accent. He was featured in several popular dramas, including the 1995 fantasy Al jawareh (Birds of Prey) and more recently the 2017 drama Al Hayba (The Prestige).
Soon after Al-Jumaat’s death was announced, tributes began pouring in on social media from his peers, who commended his work ethic and commitment.
Syrian actress Maha Al Masri posted a statement on her Twitter feed, mourning the actor and calling him “a noble artist”.
Syrian actress Laura Abu Asaad also paid tribute to Al-Jumaat, offering her condolences to his family.
Fans took to Twitter to mourn Al-Jumaat and list some of their favourite works by him. More than one user praised his voice-over work, particularly in the dubbed Arabic version of the Italian-Japanese anime The Jungle Book, in which he took on the role of Akela, leader of the wolf pack and one of Mowgli’s mentors.