Skip to main content

Coronavirus: Veteran Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Gedawy dies at 81

El-Gedawy was one of Egypt's best known actresses after a career in TV, films and theatre spanning six decades
El-Gedawy, centre, had just finishing shooting a soap opera before she was admitted to hospital (Reuters)

Veteran Egyptian actress Ragaa El-Gedawy, whose career spanned six decades, has died following a lengthy battle with the coronavirus, her daughter Amira Mokhtar announced on Sunday.

El-Gedawy, one of Egypt’s most beloved actresses, had spent 43 days in a hospital in the coastal northeastern city of Ismailia after she became infected with Covid-19. 

She was admitted days after finishing shooting for the soap opera Le'bet El-Nesyan (Game of Oblivion), which was screened during the holy month of Ramadan to great acclaim.

A former model, El-Gedawy, who was 81, made her acting debut in the popular Egyptian film Doaa al-Karawan (The Nightingale's Prayer) in 1959.

Over the years she appeared in hundreds of films, plays and TV shows, collaborating with the country’s leading directors and actors, spanning generations.

Her most recent work was in various television series and she was known for her roles playing aristocratic women.

El-Gedawy had been transferred to the intensive care unit at Abu Khalifa isolation hospital, Ismailia, on 2 June as her condition deteriorated.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country with nearly 100 million people, recently loosened virus-related restrictions to boost its economy.

Health authorities have so far reported a total of 74,035 coronavirus cases and 3,280 related deaths.