Late singer Laila Mourad - Wikipedia
CAIRO – 6 December 2018: The National Center for Theater, Music and Folklore will celebrate on Monday the 100th birthday of legendary singer and actress Laila Mourad at Cairo Opera House's Hanager Theatre.
Held under the auspices of Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem and Head of the Cultural Production sector Khaled Galal, the ceremony will present a documentary film about the late actress. The documentary will be followed by a concert presented by the National Center for Theater, Music and Folklore’s band.
Laila was born in a Jewish family in Cairo in 1918 to a Syrian father, Zaki Mourad, and a Polish mother, Gamilah Salmon. Her father was a composer and a singer who encouraged Laila to sing in the radio in the 1930s. Being the eldest daughter, she later had to financially support her family.
Her debut as a singer in the cinema was in “The Victims”, six years before starting her acting career with "Long Live Love", starring singer Mohamed Abdel Wahab, who also made her sign a contract for ten musical records.
Producer, director, scriptwriter and actor Togo Mizraahy gave her roles in seven films, including “Laila Bent El-Reef” (Laila From the Countryside), “Laila Bent Madares” (Laila: The School Student), and “Laila”. Out of the 28 films of her career, 17 carried her real name.
Mizraahy was able to work on Laila’s shyness, which was her main obstacle to leading a great acting career. He taught her how to boldly face the camera and trained her on how to control her facial expressions and voice.
The marriage of Anwar Wagdi and Mourad in 1945 significantly contributed to the immortal booming success of this artistic duo, increasing both their credibility and popularity among the audience, especially that Mourad and Wagdy were the only artistic couple at the time.
Wagdy’s innovative methods led the audience to be more attached to Mourad and follow her professional and personal news as if they were members of the same family.
She decided to retire when she was only 37 years old, at the peak of her artistic maturity and cinematic glory, to keep an immortal youthful image in the minds and hearts of her fans. Despite her retirement, she maintained her stature and popularity until her death and even after.
Mourad is considered one of the most iconic singers in Egypt’s modern history. She acted in more than 20 movies and sung hundreds of songs that are deeply entrenched in Egyptians’ memory. She passed away on November 21, 1995, leaving behind a long history of immortal movies and songs that will live ever after.