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Amina Rizk

(aka Amina Rizq)

Amina Rizk

Biography

Amina Rizk was born in Tanta, a city approximately 50 miles north of Cairo, on 15th April 1910. She attended the Tanta school and would watch the circus during ‘Moulid El Sayed El Badawi‘’ which gave her a taste for performing.

Following the death of her father, Rizk moved to Cairo with her mother, grandmother and Aunt Amina Mohamed, an aspiring actress with whom Rizk would sneak out to visit the nightly carnival at Rod El-Farag on the banks of the Nile. Mohamed acted with the Ramses Company, established by Youssef Wahbi. Inspired by her aunt, Rizk also began acting and, at the age of 13, won a supporting role in a stage production of ‘Rasputin’ opposite Wahbi. Her performance was impressive enough to ensure she became a valued member of the company, acting in approximately 500 plays until the Company’s dissolution in 1944, and her friendship with Wahbi would endure until his death in 1982. Wahbi would unsuccessfully attempt to revive the company five times over the next twenty-six years, and Rizk always made herself available for his productions at these times.

In 1928, Rizk embarked on a movie career that would span eight decades when she appeared in the title role of Stelio Chiarini’s Suad al ghagharia (Suad the Gypsy). Four years later, she appeared in Awlad el zawat (aka Sons of Aristocrats, and Spoiled Children), Egypt’s first talkie.

Although she never married - apart from, as she would regularly claim, the theatre - Rizk carved a niche for herself in motherly roles, including the part of a young Omar Sharif’s mother in Salah Abouseif’s Bidaya wa nihaya (1960). In addition to films and plays, Rizk regularly appeared on Egyptian television and radio.

In 1997, Rizk became the first female artist to be appointed to the Shura Council, the lower legislative body of the Egyptian government.

Rizk, a much-loved figure in Egyptian cinema, died of heart failure in a Cairo hospital on 24th August 2003, just two months after giving her final performance.

 

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Amina Rizk

Filmography

 

 

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