The Fair Lady, or “the cookie”, who combined acting, singing and performing arts, captivated the hearts of her audience. Her comprehensive talent helped her present various and varied roles, all of which were in light comedies. Her presence on the cinema or television screen sparkled a sense of joy and happiness, and drew a smile on her viewers’ faces. On her birthday, which falls on November 4, let’s get acquainted with the most prominent landmarks in Shwikar’s life.
Her Birth & Early Life
Her full name is Shwikar Ibrahim Tob Thaqal. She was born on November 4, 1938, in the city of Alexandria, to an Egyptian father of Turkish origin and a Circassian mother. She grew up in the Heliopolis area of Cairo, and was educated in French schools, and graduated from the Faculty of Arts, Department of French, and joined the work in the “Ansar al-Tamheel” troupe on the advice of director Hassan Reda, who was a friend of her father.
Shwikar’s artistic talents appeared at the age of four, and after joining the “Ansar al-Amthel” band, she received acting lessons from Abdel Wareth Asser and Muhammad Tawfiq. In 1960, she was nominated to participate in the movie “My Only Love” in front of Omar Sharif and Nadia Lutfi. Then the movie “The Love of the Masters” in 1961 in front of Ahmed Mazhar, Omar Sharif and Lubna Abdel Aziz. Then came her real beginning in 1963, after she participated in the play “The Technical Secretary” with Fouad Al-Mohandes.
Shwikar was famous at the beginning for performing comedy roles, but then she moved to a new stage that affected her acting career, and appeared in it with different and complex roles that require great talent such as: Al Karnak, the sad bird of night, the circle of revenge, Enemy brothers, Al-Sakka died.” In the nineties, she also tended to present valuable television dramas, including “Tame the Fierce, Huanim Garden City, A Woman from the Time of Love, A Public Secret”.
A do-it-all artist
Shwikar possessed many artistic elements besides acting, as she excelled in another artistic genre, which is singing and show, where she participated in singing in 7 films over a 12-year period from 1956 to 1977. Those films were “Kill me, please, the fake millionaire, me, my wife, and the air, the threshold of jazz, a quarter of a dozen villains, Viva Zalata, and the supplication of the oppressed.”
An artistic duo that will not be repeated
Shwikar and Fouad El Mohandes formed one of the most famous comedy duos in cinema, theater and even radio, and together they presented a long series of distinguished works that time cannot erase from the memory of art lovers. The duo met for the first time in the play “Technical Secretary”, after which they gathered many successful works, the most prominent of which were in the cinema “Confessions of a Husband, Shenbo in the Trap, The Most Dangerous Man in the World, The Land of Hypocrisy, The Threshold of Mozzar, Butcher of Women, This man made me crazy, a very funny world, Love stalking, you’re the one who killed Papaya, the teen’s schoolteacher.” Among the most prominent works that the duo presented on stage, “My fair lady, me and him and her, Eve at 12, it is really a respectable family and I am out of your league.” The play “Rawhiah was Kidnapped” was the last work that brought them together.
Her latest artwork
Shwikar remained out of the limelight for many years, but she did not announce her retirement, which encouraged director Khaled Youssef to convince her to return to the cinema in 2009, through the movie “Please Call Me” with Ghada Abdel Razek and Amr Abdel Jalil. Shwikar stated in one of the TV interviews after that, saying that Khaled Youssef did not treat her in a manner befitting her artistic history. For this movie to be her last. As for her last work at all, it was the series “A public secret” with Ghada Adel and Iyad Nassar in 2012. After that, Shwikar decided not to participate in any artistic work, and sufficed with phone calls with talk shows from time to time.
A crazy fan
Shwikar was threatened by a crazy fan, who was sending her many romantic letters expressing his love for her, and Shwikar usually ignored these messages, but she was terrified one day when he sent her a threatening letter in which he said: ” You only have one week, and if you do not have mercy on me, I will not have mercy on you, I will distort this beauty that separates me and you, I will extinguish your fascination with fire water and I will make you regret, and I will live with a heartbreak like you for your beauty for the rest of my life, you have misled me with love, and I will deprive you of your beauty and strip you of your weapon. Because of this message, Shwikar decided to use her father and the doorman to use a plot to entrap this crazy fan. They managed to catch him and take him to the police station. There the admirer cried, swore that he did not mean to threaten her and that it was just an attempt to get her attention, and confirmed that he was ready to marry her. Despite her father’s refusal, Shwikar decided to waive the report out of concern for his future, especially when she knew that he was her neighbor and that he was a student at the Faculty of Commerce. She convinced her father to suffice with a disclaimer from her not to come near her ever again.
3 husbands and one daughter
When Shwikar completed her sixteenth year, her father decided to get her married to the accountant Hassan Nafeh Al-Jawaherji, and she gave birth to her only daughter, Menna Allah. Two years after marriage her husband suffered a serious disease that cost him his life. Shwaikar then found herself a widow and a mother at the age of 18. While working in the theater with the great artist Fouad Al-Mohandes, a strong love affair developed between them, which resulted in a marriage that lasted for more than twenty years, during which she was the mother of his children from his first wife, and despite their divorce, the bonds of friendship and kinship continued between them. Because of Shwikar’s feeling of pain after her separation from Fouad Al-Mohandes, and her desire to get rid of that feeling, she went through the experience of marrying for the third time with scriptwriter Medhat Youssef
Shwikar went through many difficult situations throughout her life, the first of which was the betrayal of her close friend, where Shwikar told in one of the television interviews about the childhood friend who grew up with her and was like a sister to her, and they were never separated. This continued even after Shwikar married her first husband, the accountant Hassan Nafeh, where the friend remained with Shwikar as her shadow, and she was present in her home almost permanently, and she enjoyed all the blessings that her husband provided her. One day, the husband told his wife that he was upset with her friend’s presence and wanted to be alone with his wife in the marital home, but Shwekar vehemently refused to remove her friend. A year later, the husband asked Shwikar to go to her family’s house, and when she came back in the evening, she found her friend trying to seduce the husband, and then he confessed to his wife that her friend had been approaching him since the first month of their marriage, and that he desperately tried to keep her away from the house, so he decided to make Shwikar see what was happening herself because he wanted to give her a practical lesson to be careful even with the people closest to her.
Untreated illness and sudden death
Shwikar fell ill in 2016 and was subsequently transferred to the hospital, after which she stated that her illness had no cure, without going into the details of the disease. On August 14, 2021, she was transferred again to the hospital after suffering vomiting and stomach pain, which the doctor diagnosed as an explosion in the gallbladder. For the cookie of Egyptian Cinema to leave our world at the age of 82. She left behind a long artistic history spanning 60 years, during which she presented distinguished works of art that formed a large part of the history of cinema and theater in Egypt, and is still a source of entertainment for the public to this day.