REG 200530 Hassan Hosni-1590827671258
File photo of Egyptian actor Hassan Hosni Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Veteran Egyptian actor Hassan Hosni, noted for appearing in hundreds of stage shows and films, died on Saturday, the actors’ union said. He was 88. Hosni passed away at a Cairo hospital of a heart attack.

Born in October 1931 in the Old Cairo area of the Citadel, Hosni displayed thespian talents at school. He launched an acting career in the 190s, performing in stage shows. His big break came later in the 1970s when he played a corrupt civil servant in the popular TV series “My Dear Children, Thank You”. His popularity was largely linked to comedy. However, he established himself as a heavyweight actor in melodramas and tragedies.

In 1982, he impressed cinema-goers with his role as a wicked son-in-law in the acclaimed film “The Bus Driver” that tackles negative consequences of Egypt’s economic openness. Afterwards, Hosni’s acting talents glowed in other films including “The Innocent” a thriller on police abuse; and “The Joy Thief” in which he portrays a monkey handler.

In the 1980s, Hosni performed in a large number of TV dramas in Egypt and the Gulf, earning him the nickname “The flying actor” as he hopped off among shooting locations.

Since the mid-1990s, he had been a frequent supporting actor in films starring young comedians who deemed him a talisman for their on-screen success.

Hosni performed in nearly 500 theatrical, TV and film works during his career. He last appeared in TV serial “Sultana of Al Moez” that was shown this past month of Ramadan.

He was honoured in the 2018 edition of the Cairo International Film Festival for his lifetime achievements. In an address at the gala, an impassioned Hosni said: “I am extremely happy that I have been honoured while I am still alive.”

He will be buried later Saturday in the family’s cemetery outside Cairo.