Fouad el-Mohandes, 82, Beloved Egyptian Comedian

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Fouad el-Mohandes, one of Egypt’s most beloved comedians whose plays and movies made over a half century brought him fans across the Arab world, died Saturday in Cairo. He was 82.

El-Mohandes suffered from liver problems during the past few years, according to Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA.

Born in 1924 to an affluent family in the Abbassiya district of Cairo, el-Mohandes’ father, Zaki, was a linguistics scholar who encouraged his son to act after obtaining a bachelor of arts degree in commerce.

El-Mohandes’ idol was Naguib el-Rihani, a master of Arab comedy whose films were box office hits.

During the 1950s, el-Mohandes played supporting roles in movies and his voice was heard every morning on a 30-minute radio program “To Housewives.” Later, he presented “Just a Few Words,” playing the role of social critic and reformer for a quarter century.

Performances in the 1960s in comedies on the stage and screen with his ex-wife, actress Shwikar, catapulted him to stardom.

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