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On the anniversary of the death of Youssef Wehbe.. Major landmarks in the life of the dean of Arab theater

October 17 marks the anniversary of the death of the people’s artist Youssef Wehbe, who passed away 39 years ago. Youssef Wehbe is considered one of the first pioneers in cinema and theater in Egypt and the Arab world. He left a large legacy of important works of art. He enriched Arab cinema and theater with acting, directing, writing and production of works, so he was called the Dean of Arab Theatre.

During his long artistic career, which spanned more than 60 years, he worked with major art stars, and was credited with discovering and presenting many talents, and won many awards and honors. King Farouk I granted him the rank of Bey. He was awarded the First Class Order of Merit in 1960, and the State Appreciation Award in 1970. The Pope also awarded him the Order of Defense of Catholic Rights, and he is the first Muslim to receive this award. In the following report, we show you the most prominent stations in Youssef Wehbe’s artistic and personal life.

His Birth & Early Life

Youssef Abdullah Hadeeb Wahbi Qutb was born on July 17, 1898 in the city of Fayoum, where his father worked as an irrigation inspector, and he lived in a house located on the beach of Yusef Sea, so he decided to name his son after him. Youssef Wahbi received his first education in the book of Sheikh Al-Osaili, and then moved to the Saidia School in Giza, and then to the Agricultural School in Qalyubia. When his interest in acting began, his father considered it a disgrace and expelled him from the house. Youssef Wehbe traveled abroad and did not return to Egypt until after his father’s death.

Youssef Wehbe and the theater

Youssef Wehbe’s artistic start came after he watched the band of the Lebanese artist Salim Al-Qardahi. He fell in love with acting and began his career by reciting monologues and performing skits at Al-Ahly Club and the school, then traveled to Italy after the First World War to study acting at the hands of the Italian actor Kiantoni. He returned to Egypt in 1921 and joined the Hassan Fayek and Aziz Eid groups, and established the Ramses Theatrical Troupe with a number of great actors, which presented more than 300 plays of Arabic literature as well as French, Italian and English. And serious theatre. Which prompted the government to assign him in 1933 to form its theater group, which was the basis of the national theater later.

The Prophet Muhammad movie crisis

In 1926, Youssef Wehbe wanted to enter the world of cinema and was preparing to present the character of the Prophet Muhammad, in a film produced by the German film company “Marcus” and co-financed with the Turkish government. And Youssef Wahbi prepared photographs of the form that will appear on him as he performs the character of the Prophet in the film, and when these pictures were published, the audience angered, and the Sheikh of Al-Azhar asked the Ministry of Interior to ban this film . The matter came close to withdrawing the Egyptian nationality from Youssef Wehbe and preventing him from traveling. At the time, Al-Azhar issued a fatwa prohibiting the embodiment of the personalities of the prophets and companions in artistic works. After the severe attack he was subjected to, which amounted to accusing him of atheism and madness, Youssef Wehbe withdrew from participating in the film, and apologized to the audience, explaining that he agreed to play this role in order to introduce the Holy Prophet and the Islamic religion.

Youssef Wehbe and the theater

Although Youssef Wehbe was late in entering the world of cinema due to the crisis of the Prophet Muhammad movie, he presented a group of the first Egyptian films. In 1930, he established a cinematographic company called “Ramses Film” in partnership with director Mohamed Karim, through which he produced the first Egyptian silent film entitled “Zeinab”. In 1932, he produced the movie “Awlad Al-Zawat”, the first Arabic speaking film, which Youssef Wahbi wrote and starred in. After that, Youssef Wehbe went on to direct films in addition to writing and acting in them, so he presented films such as “The Defense, the Eternal Glory, and The Hour of Execution”. After that, he presented a large variety of successful films, in addition to theatrical work.

Technical diodes

Youssef Wehbe was one of the first artists to present artistic duets with their colleagues. He presented the most famous artistic duet in the history of Egyptian cinema with the artist Amina Rizk, which he started in 1932, and together they participated in 11 films, the most important of which are: “Children of the egotistical, the straight path, the children of the poor, berlanti.” He also presented an artistic duo with artist Laila Murad, which he started in 1939, during which they presented 6 wonderful films, the most important of which are: “Laila, the daughter of the countryside, Shadia Al-Wadi, Ghazal Al-Banat, Laila the girl of the schools.” In 1946, he collaborated with artist Faten Hamama in a new artistic duo, and together they presented 6 films, including: “The Angel of the Merciful, Bayoumi Effendi, Great Love, Confession Chair.”

A movie that gave him the nickname of Beykoy

Youssef Wehbe presented the movie “Gram and Revenge”, which was directed and written by Asmahan, Anwar Wagdy, Mahmoud El Meligy, and Bechara Wakim. This film is considered one of the most important films of Youssef Wehbe and Egyptian cinema in general. The film was shown for the first time in December 1944, and King Farouk came to watch it at Rivoli Cinema in Cairo, and praised the film and expressed his admiration for it, as the events of the film contained a lyrical operetta bearing the name “Song of Art”, which glorified the rulers of the upper dynasty, so the king decided to grant Youssef Wehbe the rank of Bey from second degree

Since then, Youssef Wehbe’s name has been shown in his films with the title “You” until 1953, when he presented the movie “House of Obedience.”

Moving from melodrama to comedy

Youssef Wehbe was keen, through his artwork, to raise the social, cultural, and moral level of Egyptian society. His artistic career carried a purposeful message represented in discussing social issues, criticizing society’s flaws and problems, and trying to provide a solution to them. In addition, Youssef Wehbe presented the movie “House of Obedience” in 1953, which differed from the traditional form of his previous films, as the film tended to have a comedic character away from the melodramatic character that he was accustomed to. He achieved great success in these types of films, and then presented a group of the most successful and famous comedies and romantic films, such as: A vow of passion, a rumor of love, a husband’s confession, a trap in the trap, a search for a scandal.

Youssef Wehbe and TV

In 1966, Youssef Wahbi participated in his first television series in his artistic career, the series “The Genius” starring Saeed Saleh, Bossi and Mahmoud El-Meligy. After that, he presented a number of TV series, including: “How to lose a million pounds, days that are not wasted, fasting fasting.”

His latest artwork

In 1972, Youssef Wehbe presented his last play, “Bayoumi Effendi”, written, directed and starred by Amina Rizk, Medhat Ghaly and Karima. It was inspired by a movie he previously made of the same name. In 1975, he presented his last starring role in the movie “The White Dress” with Naglaa Fathi, Ahmed Mazhar, Magdy Wahba and Zahrat Al-Ala. After that, he presented not films in which he participated as a guest of honor or a secondary character, the last of which was in 1982, where he appeared as a guest of honor in the movie “Al-Salakhana”. Starring Samir Sabry and Adel Adham, and this was his last life in his artistic career before his death .

His Personal life

In 1972, Youssef Wehbe presented his last play, “Bayoumi Effendi”, written, directed and starred by Amina Rizk, Medhat Ghaly and Karima. It was inspired by a movie he previously made of the same name. In 1975, he presented his last starring role in the movie “The White Dress” with Naglaa Fathi, Ahmed Mazhar, Magdy Wahba and Zahrat Al-Ala. After that, he presented not films in which he participated as a guest of honor or a secondary character, the last of which was in 1982, where he appeared as a guest of honor in the movie “Al-Salakhana”. Starring Samir Sabry and Adel Adham, and this was his last life in his artistic career before his death .

The death of the dean of the theater

Youssef Wahbi entered the Arab Contractors Hospital after suffering a fracture in the pelvic bones after falling in the bathroom. During treatment, he suffered a sudden heart attack to leave our world on October 17, 1982, at 84. After a long artistic career that spanned more than 60 years, he presented 302 plays and 60 films. He also authored 60 plays and 40 films and directed 185 plays and 30 films. In addition, 6 of his films were selected in the list of the 100 best films in the history of Egyptian cinema.

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