Highly-respected Egyptian actor, Ezzat El-Alaili passed away at the age of 86 last Friday on the 5th of February, leaving a tremendous artistic legacy behind, and a history that spans over 60 years.
El-Alaili was involved in acting from his early school years and enrolled at the Higher Institute of Theatrical Arts, where he graduated in 1960. He performed in theatre, film, and television.
While he worked as a TV host, he embarked on a small-role film career in “Cairo” (1963), starring Faten Hamama and directed by Wolf Rilla, and Salah Abouseif’s “Ressalah Min Emraa Maghoula” (1963) starring Farid El-Atrash, Lobna Abdel-Aziz and Amina Rezq.
He began working with famed filmmakers in the mid-1960s, landing significant or leading roles in several of the films of Youssef Chahine, such as “Al Nas Wal Nil” (1964), “Al Ikhtiyar” (1970), “Alexandria... Leeh?” (1979), “Al Ard” (1969), and “Al-Mowaten Masry” (1991).
In recent years, El-Alaili worked with a group of young directors and authors, “They have great awareness of the future of cinema in Egypt, the future of television, the future of writing, poetry and art in general in the hands of these young people,” he shared.
Weeks before his passing, he was interviewed in mid-January as a guest on the talk show Sahebet El Saada presented by TV host, Esaad Younis, where he opened up about his grandchildren. He expressed his pride at what both Adel and Mariam had achieved academically. “Adel is an architect, and Mariam is a political investigator… I’m so proud of them.” And we are also proud of all that El-Alaili has been able to accomplish throughout his career. May his soul rest in peace.