CAIRO: Google Doodle on Monday celebrated the 89th birthday of late Egyptian actress Karima Mokhtar who was known as the “Mother of Egyptian Cinema” for depicting maternal characters in cinema, theater and TV drama.
Attyat Mohamed al-Badry was born on Jan. 16, 1934 in the Upper Egypt governorate of Assiut.
Mokhtar earned her bachelor’s degree in theater in 1963, but her family was reluctant to let her pursue a career in acting.
She did make an appearance in radio in the 1950s on the popular Egyptian children’s show Baba Sharou.
It is believed that her marriage to film director and actor Nour Eldemerdash helped her pursue her silver-screen dreams.
Her first role on the big screen was in the film Thaman El-Horeya (The Price of Freedom, 1963). Another silver-screen hit was her highly acclaimed role as Zeinab, a young mother of seven children, in the successful film El-Hafeed (The Grandson, 1974) opposite the late Nour El-Sharif and Mervat Amin. The film proved Mokhtar’s ability to depict maternal characters, which she soon become famous for.
More popular roles granted Mokhtar her reputation as the ultimate mother character in the Egyptian art scene, such as her role in the film Amira Hobi Ana (Amira My Love) and Al Shaytan Ya'ez (The Devil Preaches).
But the most remarkable of which was her role in the classic play El-Eyal Kebret (The Kids Have Grown Up, 1979) alongside actors Ahmed Zaki, Hassan Mustafa, Saeed Saleh and Younes Shalaby, where she starred as a wife and mother of four children trying to stop their father from leaving the family.
The play was a success and has since been watched by generations.
Later in her career, she took on one of her most famous roles in the popular Egyptian soap opera Yetraba Fi Ezo (May He Grow Up Prosperous). Her death scene on the series was a memorable one.
Mokhtar died in January 2017, “leaving behind a legacy of strong and sympathetic performances,” read Google's doodle description of her.
Monday's Google Doodle is visible across the Mena region.