Rushdy Abaza - File Photo
CAIRO - 27 July 2017: Today marks the 37th anniversary for the death of veteran Egyptian actor Rushdy Abaza, considered one of the brightest stars in classical Egyptian cinema. Handsome, sophisticated, charismatic, with an attractive sense of humor and good acting skills, Abaza had it all. Arab women across all generations wanted to be with him, men wanted to be him. He was dubbed the 'Don Juan' of Egyptian cinema.
Late Lebanese singer Sabah, who married Abaza briefly, once said that "No woman can resist Rushdy Abaza."
Abaza died on July 27, 1980, at the too-young age of 53, leaving behind a legacy of more than a hundred movies. Born to an Italian mother and Egyptian father, Abaza had the good looks of an Italian-Egyptian; alongside excellent talent. His wealthy Egyptian family opposed his acting, yet ironically he became the most wealthy and beloved of the Abaza family. He played a diversity of genres, from comedy and romance to drama and thrillers. Abaza's first experiences with acting were all failures until his breakthrough role in ‘Al-Ragol Al-Thany’, or the Second Man, which changed how gangsters were portrayed in Egyptian cinema. Abaza played the role of a smooth, handsome, intelligent criminal who hid his evil ways.
Abaza married five women throughout his life; the first was famous dancer Taheya Carioca, lasting for three years until fears of infidelity caused them to call it splits.
Two attractive famous people loved and wanted...by everyone, their marriage was doomed by their beauty. Abaza later married an American, Barbara, who bore his only daughter Kismat, though little was known about them and Abaza's marriage with her ended after four years.
His longest marriage was with fellow Egyptian actress Samia Gamal, lasting 18 years. She was known as the brunette of Egyptian cinema, a family dancer who loved Abaza more than life itself, even despite all his mistakes and indiscretions. His final wife also came from the Abaza family, and she remained by his side until his death in 1980.
According to his son in law, Abaza's real life was truly like Don Juan. Fun and lovable, Abaza's funeral was visited by more than 100,000 people.