May 14, marks the death anniversary of legendary Egyptian actor Anwar Wagdy. Egypt Today commemorates the actor’s birthday with a profile of his career.
Originally from Syria, Wagdy lived with his family in Cairo under impoverished circumstances. He started his career alongside another legendary Egyptian actor, Youssef Wahby, which allowed Wagdy a chance to star in minor roles in theater before participating in the film “Awlad El Zawat” (Aristocratic Children).
Wagdy proved his talents on the silver screen and convinced a number of directors and producers to cast him in major roles.
In the 1940s, Wagdy became the number one Egyptian actor after portraying the role of the rich, young man in “Fatmah,” alongside Umm Kalthoum.
In 1945, Wagdy decided to produce his own films. He produced “Laila Bent El Fokara’” (Laila, the Daughter of the Poor) with iconic Egyptian singer Laila Mourad. Not only did Wagdy produce the film and perform the role of the hero; he also wrote the scenario and directed it.
Due to the great success of the film, Wagdy decided to complete his series of cooperation with Mourad and starred again with her in “Ghazal El Banat” (The Flirtation of Girls), “Alby Dalely” (My Heart is My Guide) and “Bent El Akaber” (The Daughter of the Rich).
He eventually married Mourad; forming one of the most cherished cinematic couples in the history of the Egyptian cinema.
Contributing to cinema with Fayrouz, “the miracle child,” Wagdy introduced a number of films that employed dance, performance and music in a cinematic frame.
“Arbaa’ Banat Wa Dhabet” (Four Girls and and an Officer) was the last film Wagdy produced.
Six of his films, where he was the protagonist or the producer, are on the list of the best 100 films in the history of the Egyptian cinema: “Al Aa’zima” (The Determination), “Ghazal El Banat,” “Rayah Wi Skinah” (Rayah and Skinah), “Amir El Enteqam” (The Prince of Revenge), “El Wahsh” (The Beast), and “Gharam Wi Intekam” (Passion and Revenge).
A few days before his death, Wagdy and Laila Fawzy got married.
He died in Stockholm on May 14, 1955, as a result of polycystic kidney disease.