Egyptian movie superstar AHMED ZAKI died on Sunday (27MAR05) from lung cancer at the age of 55.

Zaki slipped into a coma several weeks ago and finally passed away at the Dar el-Fouad Hospital in Sixth of October City just outside Cairo, Egypt surrounded by friends and relatives.

He was born into a poor family in Zagazig north of Cairo, but found fame and fortune after playing Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 2001 movie DAYS OF SADAT.

The 55-year-old became a political icon, for choosing roles which gave a voice to deprived rural Egyptian youth, earning him the friendship and support of the country's governing figures, including Egypt's current President HOSNI MUBARAK.

Film producer IMAD EL-DIN ADEEB says, "He is a great artist of rare talent. Such artists are born only once every 100 years."

Director MOHAMMED KHAN, worked with Zaki on six films and compares him to movie legend Robert De Niro: "Even without the technical and other advanced means which Hollywood has, Zaki gave Egyptian film making the glamour of real art."

Zaki's funeral will be held on Monday (02MAR05) in central Cairo's Mustafa Mahmoud mosque.

28/03/2005 13:42