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Friday, 22 June, 2001, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK
Egyptian screen star dies
Souad Hosni with Rusdi Abaza in Ghuroub wa Surouq
Hosni with Rushdi Abaza in Sunset and Sunrise
Souad Hosni, an Egyptian actress beloved throughout the Arab world, has died in London at the age of 58.

Egyptian television interrupted its programming to announce the death of the actress, who starred in some 75 films.

State Television reported President Hosni Mubarak to be involved in plans to repatriate her body, while admirers mourned her loss.

Souad Hosni
Hosni on a visit to Beirut in 1973
"She is part of a beautiful period that we all lived in," said Egyptian novelist Gamal al-Gheitany.

"She is a symbol of days of vigour and liveliness, and now these days are over."

Hosni was born in Cairo on 26 January 1943 - one of a family of 17 children.

Her career began at the age of three when she sang on the popular children's radio programme Papa Sharo.

Varied skills

When she took to the screen, her skill in roles such as Hassam and Naima - based on the Romeo and Juliet story - captured the hearts of film lovers instantly.

Her most famous role was that of a college student who falls in love with her teacher in the 1974 film Khali Balak min Zouzou - Take Care of Zouzou.

But Hosni was also capable of hard-hitting roles such as that of the student tortured in Egyptian prisons in Al-Kamak - an adaptation of a novel by Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfouz.

She had been suffering from a long illness and stopped making films in the early 1990s.

"People will write more about her in the coming days than they wrote about her during her illness," said actor Mohammed Sobhi.

"Those who don't remember her and ask about her will do so now."

Hosni was married but had no children.

Her final screen appearance dates from 1991 in a film directed by her ex-husband Ali Badakhan.

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21 Jun 01 | Middle East
Dozens hurt in Egypt Copt protest
18 Jun 01 | Country profiles
Country Profile: Egypt
12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Timeline: Egypt
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