One of the most beautiful faces that passed through Egyptian cinema, and she left a clear imprint on her distinguished artistic career. The great actress, Laila Fawzy, whom God gave her a glamorous beauty, in addition to the acting talent that made her a successful star, has been on the throne of cinema for decades. She was nicknamed “The beauty among women” and “Princess Virginia” in relation to the role she played in the movie “Al-Nasser Salah Al-Din”. Especially as she retained her beauty even with her age and the introduction of maternity roles. Her beauty and fame did not disappear for a single moment, from her first artistic debut until her death, whose memory falls on January 12. In this article, we present to you the life story of the beautiful actress, Laila Fawzy.
Her birth and Early Life
Leila Muhammed Fawzi Ibrahim was born on October 20, 1918, in Turkey. To an Egyptian father and a Turkish mother whose ancestry goes back to Caesar Lee Pasha, one of the leaders of the Turkish army. She was ranked third among four sons. Because of her dazzling beauty, she was elected Miss Universe when she was ten years old. And an American magazine gave her the title of the most beautiful woman of her time. However, her beauty was the reason for depriving her of an education after the primary certificate, as her father took her out of school and she stayed at home to prevent the frequent harrsment of young people to her. During her stay at home, she had a hobby of acting, and she was standing in front of the mirror and imitating artists, so that her mother thought that she had lost her mind and took her to the doctor, who assured her that she was healthy and not crazy, and that she only liked acting.
Laila Fawzy’s artistic start came by chance, when the registrar and author Qassem Wagdy saw her in the street, so he followed her until he reached her house and asked to meet her father and suggested that he present his daughter in the cinema. At the insistence of his wife and daughter, the father agreed to participate in her first movie, “The Wives Factory” in front of Coca and Mahmoud Zulficar. She was 14 years old at the time. The film failed commercially after its release in 1941, because it represented a social revolution against the education system. The important step in her artistic career came the following year, when director Mohamed Karim chose her to co-star in the movie “Forbidden Love” in front of musician Mohamed Abdel Wahab, with whom she participated in two other films: “A Bullet in the Heart” in 1944 and “I’m Not an Angel” in 1946.
Her film career
After her films with Abdel Wahab, offers poured in on Laila Fawzy to participate in many works. Director and producer Togo Mizrahi signed contracts with her for 3 films, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, which is her first starring role, in conjunction with Ali Al-Kassar, Ismail Yassin, Muhammad Abdul Muttalib and Riad Al-Qasabji. And the movie “Nour El-Din and the Three Sailors” in front of Ali Al-Kassar, Ismail Yassin, Mahmoud El-Meligy and Mahmoud Shukoko. The movie “Long Live the Sixes” in front of Anwar Wagdy, Mohsen Sarhan, Mimi Shakib and Madiha Yousry. Then she launched into the world of fame and stardom, as her artistic career spanned for nearly 60 years, during which she presented about 85 films, including: “The Les Miserables, The Ambassador of Hell, Laila Bint Al Shati, Al Nasser Salah Al Din, One Thousand and One Nights, Faris Bani Hamdan, Young Teenager, Dalal Al Masreya, Sultana of Tarab, Alexandria Les.” Her last movie was “The Knight of the Back of the Horse” with director Atef Salem, in 2001.
As for the TV drama, it presented 40 TV series, the most important of which are: “Al-Haramlek, Ali Al-Zeibaq, One Thousand and One Nights, Halawani Gate, Hawanim Garden City, Years of Love and Misery, My Blood, My Tears and My Smile, Who Doesn’t Love Fatimah ” Her last television work was the series “Frisca” with director Magdy Ahmed Ali, in 2004
The list of top 100 movies
4 films from Laila Fawzy’s works were selected to participate in the list of the 100 best films in the history of Egyptian cinema, according to the critics’ choice, and these films are:
• The movie “Al-Nasser Salah Al-Din”, starring Ahmed Mazhar, Salah Zulfikar, Nadia Lutfi and Laila Fawzy, and directed by Youssef Chahine. It occupies number 11 on the list.
• The movie “Why Alexandria?” In partnership with Ahmed Zaki, Farid Shawqi, Mahmoud El Meligy, Mohsen Mohi El Din, Abdullah Mahmoud and Naglaa Fathi, and directed by Youssef Chahine. It occupies number 32 on the list.
• The movie “A Bullet in the Heart”, in partnership with Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Rakia Ibrahim, Siraj Mounir, and Ghali Al Kassar, directed by Mohamed Karim. It occupies number 65 on the list.
• The movie “The Mountain” with Salah Kabil, Samira Ahmed, Magda Al-Khatib, Zozo Madi and Abdel Wareth Asser, directed by Sobhi Abdel Aziz. It occupies number 94 on the list.
Awards and Honors
During her career, Laila Fawzy won many awards and honors, including an award for her role in the movie “Shams Stroke” from the Film Writers and Critics Association in 1980. She was honored in 2003 by the 19th Alexandria International Film Festival. She was also honored by the 28th Cairo International Film Festival in 2004
Her marriages and personal life
Laila Fawzi married 3 times. The first marriage was with the artist Aziz Othman, who was a friend of her father and is 30 years older than her. Laila insisted on marrying him to escape her father’s cruelty, especially after he refused her marriage to Anwar Wagdy, with whom a strong love story joined them. Their marriage lasted 5 years, during which she suffered the same cruelty with her husband, and she insisted on a divorce. After her divorce, Laila returned to her first love, and the second marriage took place in 1954, with the artist Anwar Wagdy. But her marriage only lasted a few months, as he fell seriously ill, and the couple traveled abroad on a medical trip. Anwar left our world, and Laila retired from acting for three years after his death due to her great sadness for him. As for the third and final marriage, in 1960, she married the radio broadcaster Jalal Moawad, and their marriage lasted until his death in 1997, after which she did not remarry. Nor did she have any children from her three marriages
During her life, Laila Fawzy went through some trajic situations and accidents that some describe as tragic. In addition to his death, her first love and her husband, artist Anwar Wagdy, died after a few months of marriage. It was said that she was the cause of the death of her first husband, Aziz Othman, after she insisted to divorce him, and despite his refusal to divorce, he agreed after pressure from their close friends, to die several days after the divorce. It was also the reason for the divorce of her sister, who was married to a wealthy businessman, who refused his sister-in-law’s work in the cinema, considered it a disgrace to the family, and tried to pressure her father to refuse her entry into art. One day, Registrar Qassem Wagdy tried to persuade the hard-line husband to reverse his position, which the husband considered an insult, and expelled him from the house. Out of his extreme anger, he divorced his wife, then could not stand the shock, so he fell paralyzed and died.
Asia Dagher, the Star Maker and Dean of Producers, passed away on January 12, 2005, at the age of 86. And that was after a struggle with illness, at Dar Al Fouad Hospital, and her funeral took place from Mustafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandessin.