Egyptian movie diva Berlenti Abdul Hamid dies at 75

Berlenti Abdul Hamid, an icon of Egyptian cinema's golden age, passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 75. The actress was the widow of Abdel Hakim Amer, the first vice-president to late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

According to the Middle East News Agency (MENA), Abdul Hamid died in the Armed Forces Hospital after suffering a stroke.

The actress was born in 1935 in the Upper Egyptian city of Beni Suef. After obtaining a diploma in embroidery, she joined the Institute of Performing Arts to study drama and theater criticism. However, actor and producer Zaki Tulaimat soon persuaded her to join the drama department, and she eventually graduated from the High Institute of Acting in Egypt.

Abdul Hamid’s first role was in the play “Tramp.”  Her first big screen debut came in 1952 with the movie “Easter,” after which she played a starring role in “Raya and Sakeena,” a movie directed by Salah Abu Seif that same year.

The actress gave birth to Amr Abdel Hakim Amer. She later wrote a book about her experience with her son entitled “The Marshal and I” (1993). She also authored the book “The road to my destiny… to Amer” (2002).

Amer, who was also the Deputy Supreme Commander, was first introduced to Abdul Hamid by former Egyptian Intelligence Chief Salah Nasr, who was known for his loyalty to Amer.

Abdul Hamid accused Abdel Nasser of poisoning her husband. The circumstances surrounding Amer’s death continue to raise controversy to this day. Some believe Amer was poisoned while others say he committed suicide after being relieved his posts and arrested for allegedly plotting a coup against Nasser.

Some believe Amer’s marriage to Abdul Hamid nearly destroyed his political future when Nassar refused to approve the marriage.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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