Award-winning Egyptian actor and ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ star Gamil Ratib dies aged 92

Award-winning Egyptian actor and ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ star Gamil Ratib dies aged 92

CAIRO: The award-winning Egyptian-French actor, Gamil Ratib, who was widely loved by Arab and European fans, died on Wednesday aged 92.

An icon of Egyptian cinema and drama, Ratib, will be remembered by Arab fans for his roles in a number of TV series such as “Yawmiat Wanees,” “El-Raya al-Bayda,” “Al-Asdekaa,” and “Wajh El-Qamar.” 

The veteran actor also appeared in French and Tunisian cinema and took parts in many distinguished international movies, most famously the1962 Oscar-winning “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Actors who worked closely with Ratib shared their condolences on the social media.

Born in Cairo in 1926, Ratib’s love of performing started in France while studying at university. (Photo: Instagram/@msdar_news)
“My father, My friend and my best actor. Good bye. You left a great history and a great human achievement behind you,” said Mohamed Sobhy, the renowned Egyptian actor who worked closely with Ratib.

Iman Sarkis, another veteran actor, said: “Good bye my friend who had the most kind heart. A great actor and lovely memories together to remember.”

“May Allah have Mercy on the artist Gamil Rateb. He was a beautiful person with an amazing personality reflected on the screen on any role he plays. He covered a space that will be very far fetched to replace,” said Nabil El-Halafawy.

Ratib’s love for acting came from his interest in French theater, which he developed during his years at university there.

Gamil Ratib in the French film “L’Aventuriere des Champs-Elysees” from 1957. (Supplied)
His career spanned 65 years where he starred in both French and Egyptian films and first appeared in a movie in 1945 titled “I Am the East.”

Ratib, who was born on 28 Aug. 1926 in Cairo, has been honored for his work both in Egypt and France, and was a recipient of France’s Legion of Honour in 1995 for 59 years of exceptional work in cinema and film.

Egyptian film lovers also came forward with an outpouring of admiration for Ratib.

“Good bye our legend, you will be missed, we loved you and we will always will,” said Nada El-Bermawy, a Cairo resident.

Gamil Ratib as Majid in Lawrence of Arabia. The actor was widely loved for his roles in Arab and European cinema and TV. (Supplied)
Mohamed Hussien, 41, another Cairo resident, said: “The classy, the evil, the funny. We lost one of our best actors today but will always stay in our hearts and memories.”

Ratib struggled with bad health for several years and in a recent TV appearance he shared his desire for death to end the battle with his illness.

“Death will be restful for me from life problems, ageing and disease,” he said. “I am not fearing death I just fear the pain. I will also follow the people who loved me and get next to them.”

He died at Cairo’s Anglo-American Hospital, his agent confirmed in a statement.

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