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Profile: Veteran comedian Samir Ghanem passes away at 84

Veteran Egyptian comedian Samir Ghanem passed away on Thursday at the age of 84.

Ghanem was known for playing Fatouta in the 1990s TV riddles, for being member of “Tholathy Adwa’a El Masrah”, and for playing Masoudy in “Al-Motazawegoun” (The Married) play.

Throughout his artistic career, he presented over 250 artworks.

In 1937, Arab al-Atawlah in Assiut Governorate witnessed the birth of the Egyptian comedy icon.

Ghanem began his career by joining the Police Academy, like his father, but was dismissed after failing for two consecutive years. He then turned to art and joined the Faculty of Agriculture at Alexandria University, where he dove into the school’s art scene.

He began acting in 1963, joining al-Daif Ahmed and George Sidhom, a theater group in what was known as the “Tholathy Adwa’a El Masrah” (The Trio of Stage Lights).

Ghanem gained his fame after performing in “Tabikh al-Malaika” (The Angels’ Cooking) play, directed by the late Hassan Abdel Salam in 1964.

Together, the three presented a number of films and sketches, such as Kotomoto’s sketches and a number of plays, including “Hadatha fi Ezbet al-Ward,” “Al-Ragel Elli Etgawez Merato” and “Hawdeet”.

However, Ghanem separated from the others at the beginning of the 1970s, and the group was wholly dismantled after the death of Deif Ahmed in 1970.

In 1982, Sayed Ghanem, Samir’s brother and his business manager, died, sending him into a spiral of depression.

Following his brother’s death, he decided to change his work style.

In 1983, Samir collaborated with director Fahmy Abdel Hamid to launch the first episodes of “Fawazir Fatouta” (Fatouta’s Riddles) under the name of “Fatouta and the Films”

He succeeded tremendously, which encouraged him to appear in “Fatuta and the Personalities” in 1986.

He presented in 1992 the riddle “al-Motazawegoun”, in 1993 “al-Modhekoun” and in 1994 “Ahl al-Moghany”.

Samir performed in more than 30 plays that are rooted in the memory of the Egyptian public, such as “al-Motazawegoun” (Married People) in 1976, “Ahlan Ya Doctor” (Welcome Doctor) in 1981, and “Do Re Me Fasolia” in 2001.

His most famous films are “4-2-4″, “Al-Regala fi Khatar” (Men in Danger) and”Ya Rab Walad”, and “Tegebha Keda Tegelha Keda Heya Keda”.

In 1984, Ghanem married the actress Dalal Abdel Aziz, and she gave birth to their two daughters, Donia and Amal (known as Amy).

His last work was in 2019 in Badal al-Hadduta Talata, and Super Miro.

His final screen appearance was an appearance in an advertisement for a telecom company in Ramadan 2021.

On April 30, 2021, Ghanem and his wife were transferred to the hospital for treatment of severe COVID-19, where he died on May 20, 2021.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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