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Ahmed Zaki Metwally Abdelrahman Badawi
أحمد زكي متولي عبد الرحمن بدوي
18 November 1949
|Died||27 March 2005 (aged 55)|
|Other names||The Emperor|
|Occupation||Actor, film producer|
|Children||Haitham Ahmed Zaki|
Ahmed Zaki Metwally Abdelrahman Badawi (Arabic: أحمد زكي متولي عبد الرحمن بدوي; 18 November 1949 – 27 March 2005), usually known as Ahmed Zaki (Arabic: أحمد زكي), was an Egyptian film actor. He was characterized by his talent, skill, and ability in impersonating. He was also famous for his on-screen intensity. Though he first appeared in a small role within a comedy play, he is widely regarded as one of the most talented male actors, especially in dramatic and tragedy roles.
Ahmed Zaki was born in the city of Zagazig, about 50 miles north of Cairo, Egypt. He graduated from Zagazig's Crafts School in 1967, and then traveled to Cairo to study cinema before he graduated from the Cairo Higher Institute for Drama Studies in 1974.
Many of his films were written by screenwriter Wahid Hamed and had a strong political message that exposed governmental and police corruption. He also starred in the famous 1980s television comedy musical series Howa we heya with actress Souad Houssni. Zaki also starred in a series of successful action movies during the mid-and late-1990s.
Two of his greatest successes were playing Egypt's presidents in two popular movies that became landmarks of Arabic cinema. He played presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser in Nasser 56, a movie that centered on the fateful summer of 1956 when then-President Nasser nationalizing the Suez Canal, and Anwar Sadat in the movie The Days of Sadat (2001) with director Mohamed Khan which he also produced. The movie depicted 40 years of the late president's life. He also had plans to play president Hosni Mubarak in a third movie. He is also known for portraying prominent characters in Egyptian history like Taha Hussein.
Zaki was seen as an icon and spokesperson for the average Egyptian youth; he was also considered the heir to Farid Shawki as Malek El Terso ("The King of the Third Class" – a reference to his popularity among the poor, who bought third-class seats in movie theatres) in an Egyptian magazine. The two starred together in two movies several years earlier.
He was a known heavy smoker. Zaki had been in intensive care at Dar Al Fouad Hospital in Sixth of October City, just outside Cairo, and died of lung cancer complications, after president Hosni Mubarak offered to send him to France for medical treatment at the government's expense and granting him the Merit of Arts award for his work in over 50 movies.
A book about Zaki has been released under the title of Ahmad Zaki wa Symphoniet Ibda (Ahmad Zaki: A Symphonic Innovation Masterpiece). The book features details of his acting career and includes a compilation of articles by different critics including Tareq Al Shinawi, Mohammad Al Shafe’ee and Waleed Saif.
On November 18, 2020, Google celebrated his 71st birthday with a Google Doodle, which included boxing gloves to refer to Al Nimr Al Aswad (The Black Tiger), a crab for Kaboria (The Crab), a camera for Edhak El-Sora Tetlaa’ Helwa (Smile, the Picture Will Come Out Fine), and the animals from Arba’a Fi Muhimma Rasmiya (Four on an Official Mission).