Ragaa El Geddawy
Ragaa El Geddawy Image Credit: Twitter.com/HaifaWehbe

Cairo: After an illustrious acting career that spanned over six decades, accomplished Egyptian actress Rajaa El Geddawy passed away on July 5 after struggle against the novel coronavirus that she had contracted in May. She was 81.

The prominent actress died at a quarantine hospital in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia after she suffered a sharp drop in blood circulation while on a respirator at an ICU, according to medical sources.

El Geddawy has left behind a legacy of nearly 300 works, showing her thespian talents that have earned her massive popularity. She was nicknamed the “princess of art” due to her chic appearances and for often playing the role of the aristocratic lady.

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Her departure has unleashed a wave of grief that has gone beyond the entertainment community. Egyptian Minister Inas Abdul Dayam euologised El Geddawy, calling her a “star of the beautiful time”, referring to her early acting beginnings in the late 1950s and 1960s.

“She was an example of serious art. With her refined sense, she has succeeded in creating a distinguished form of the roles that she played during her long career,” the minister said in a statement, adding that her works will remain “immortal landmarks”.

The US embassy in Cairo also paid homage to the late actress. “The US Embassy in Cairo offers its deep condolences to the family of renowned Egyptian actress Ragaa El Gedaway on her passing, and to the millions of her fans in Egypt and around the world,” the mission said in an online statement.

Ragaa El Geddawy in 'Do’aa Al Karwan’
Ragaa El Geddawy in 'Do’aa Al Karwan’ Image Credit: Screengrab

A one-time fashion model, El Geddawy launched an acting career in the late 1950s. She has since made a big name for herself, having performed in a large number of films, stage shows and TV serials.

One of her popular films is the 1960 comedy ‘A Love Rumour’ starring internationally renowned Egyptian actor Omar Sharif.

El Geddawy also co-starred with Egypt’s top comedian Adel Imam in the two hit stage shows ‘Sayyed the Butler’ and ‘The Leader’, considered among the longest-running in the history of the Egyptian theatre.


In recent years, she has also acted as a TV host. Her last appearance was in the Egyptian TV serial ‘The Game of Forgetfulness’ that was shown during the month of Ramadan. She also performed in ‘My Soulmate’, an Egyptian feature film due to be shown to the public during the coming Eid Al Adha.

Several Egyptian celebrities were aggrieved by El Geddawy’s passing and paid glowing tributes to her.

Head of the Egyptian actors’ Syndicate Ashraf Zaki paid an online farewell to her, calling her “one of dearest people”.

Mega-pop star Amr Diab said in a Facebook post: “My heartfelt condolences over the death of the great artist.”

“She lived among humans with a pure heart and a good soul,” veteran actress Nabila Ebeid wrote on Instagram.

Singer-actress Haifa Wehbe also posted a tribute on Twitter, saying in Arabic: “Goodbye Ragaa El Geddawy. We will miss you, for your fine art and the beauty of your roles and your acting.”

Most mourners attached their condolence notes with pictures of the late performer.

El Geddawy married ex-goalkeeper Hassan Mokhtar in the early 1970s. She is survived by her only daughter Amira.