Wed, 27 Jul 2022 - 11:09 GMT
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 - 11:09 GMT
Malek el Terso/King of the Third" and "Wahsh el Shasha/The Screen Monster" all refer to one person, Farid Shawqi.
The actor was given these titles from his fans, and not the press. El Terso is the name given to movie theaters in the poor areas in Egypt, where Shawqi was their hero.
His professional career as an actor, producer and scriptwriter lasted for more than half a century, his legacy includes starring in 361 movies, 12 plays, 12 TV series, writing 26 movies and producing 20 others.
For his prolific body of work, Shawqi was awarded more than 90 prizes and awards, the biggest of which was the State's Award of Arts in 1962, presented by former president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
A Rich Career
Shawqi began his career by performing small roles as a villain. Afterwards however, he shed his villainous skin to become a hero who faces gangsters, drug dealers and local criminals exploiting the weak.
Shawqi's heroic fights on screen always drew applauds and admiration by viewers. He could beat 10 or 12 crooks in one fight and finish with nearly no scratches to continue his role. So beloved for his action roles, Shawqi would find it hard to branch out in "Bab el Hadid" (The rain station) as a romantic lover.
As it did not feature a single fight in the film, his audiences raided movie theaters in objection, wanting their hero fighting and winning. This still wouldn't stop Shawqi from varying his acting career between romance, comedy and darker roles; emobiding the personality of the Egyptian people as it evolved in relation to age and social status.
Although he died 19 years ago, Shawqi is still present in modern culture as if he were a mythical figure; his legacy has been cemented by films such as "Antara Ibn Shadad" in which he played the role of a famous Arabian poet, or films such as "Dock Number Five" and many others that showed his heroism and artluism.
During the late 1960's Shawqi moved to Turkey and made it big there too, participating in movies such as "Osman the Mighty" and "The Bosfor Devil." Despite the respect and sucess he garnered in Turkey, Shawqi moved back to Egypt after three short years. In the 1970's he took on more mature roles, his performances more experienced and effective.
Though his roles were shorter, they carried a stronger presence. An example is his role in the political movie "El Karnak" where his scenes were few and far between, but memorable and influential.
His theatrical experience came when Abdel Badie Khairy needed someone to lead the Rihani Company after the sudden death of their lead actor.
The company presented only comedy plays following the tradition of its founder, the great Naguib al-Rihani.
Shawqi threw himself into their comedy roles without hesitation, and wound up becoming a huge success on stage.
Even after new stars came onto the scene in the 1980's, taking away spotlight from older generations, Shawqi kept his legendary status.
Managing to produce four to five movies a year, he inspired critics and audiences alike to name him "The King" or "Lei Roi" in French to give it a classy touch.
Cafes, restaurants and popular coffee shops were named after him, in a tradition normally given to famous singers like Umm Khalthoum or Abd El Wahab.