Dubai: Renowned Egyptian actor and comedian Samir Ghanem died from COVID-19 complications in a Cairo hospital on Thursday, the Ministry of Culture announced.
The iconic 84-year-old comedian was hospitalised late April after being infected with coronavirus. He was suffering from organ failure and was put on ventilators.
Since 1960s, Ghanem has been one of the most famous comedians performing in dozens of theatre works, television series and films over the span of over half a century, leaving a memorable imprint in all of them.
Among his best-known roles are the comic character of Fatota, a famous TV classic from the 1980s. He was a member of 'Tholathy Adwa'a El Masrah', the 1970s standup comedy trio, with George Sidhom and El Deif Ahmed.
Ghanem received numerous awards during his career. In 2017, he received the Faten Hamama Honorary and Excellence Award during the Cairo International Film Festival, as testament to the vital role he has played in the film scene and his immense contribution to Egyptian cinema.
Culture minister Ines Abdel Dayem expressed that the whole Arab world lost an exceptional comic icon who created scores of works filled with joy and comedy. Abdel-Dayem indicated that his distinctive style succeeded in attracting the hearts of the public over the decades.
Ghanem leaves behind wife Dalal Abdel Aziz, an actress, who is also being hospitalised due to COVID 19 infection, and two daughters, Donia Samir Ghanem and Amy Samir Ghanem, who are also famous actresses.