Actress Maryam Fakhr Al Din appearing in a film. Image Credit:

Cairo: Prominent Egyptian actress Maryam Fakhr Al Din, famous for her romantic roles in the 1950s, died on Monday at a Cairo hospital, the Actors’ Union said. She was 81.

Fakhr Al Din died after a long struggle with a brain disorder, the union added.

Nicknamed the “beauty of the Egyptian cinema” and the “Angel of the Screen”, Fakhr Al Din launched an acting career in the early 1950s, making her debut in A Love Night. Soon she rose to renown in a series of films in which she mostly played the dream girl. She was catapulted to further fame with the release of Bring Back My Heart, a 1957 classic tackling the socio-political scene in Egypt prior to the toppling of the country’s monarchy by a group of young officers in 1952. She played a princess falling in love with an army officer from a poor family.

Born to an Egyptian father and a Hungarian mother, Fakhr Al Din co-starred in many of the films produced in the 1950s and 1960s, the golden era of the Egyptian cinema. She appeared in films featuring big names of the time including iconic singers Farid Al Atrash and Abdul Halim Hafez as well as established actors such as Ahmad Mazhar, Rushdi Abaza, Emad Hamdi, Mahmoud Al Melji and Yehia Shahin. In these films, she either portrayed the romantic or downtrodden girl. In the 1970s, she broke from the mould, playing various roles.

Her last appearance on the screen was her role as the head of a brothel in the 1996 comedy Sleeping in Honey starring super comedian Adel Imam. She had since kept a low profile, living in virtual seclusion in her last years.

Fakhr Al Din has to her name around 250 films. She is survived by two children.