Adel Emam

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Adel Emam
عادل إمام
Adel Imam by Elijah Zarwan.jpg
Adel Mohamed Emam

(1940-05-17) May 17, 1940 (age 82)
Mansoura, Kingdom of Egypt
(present-day Egypt)
Other namesAl-Zaeem, El Wad Sayyed el Shaghal, shahed ma shafsh haga
EducationCairo University
Occupation(s)Actor, comedian
Years active1962–present
SpouseHala Al Shalaqani
RelativesMustafa Metwalli

Adel Emam (Arabic: عادل إمام; born 17 May 1940 is an Egyptian film, television, and stage actor.[1] He is primarily a comedian, but he has starred in more serious works and, combined comedy with romance especially in his earlier films, which included My Wife, the Director General, My Wife's Dignity and My Wife's Goblin with Salah Zulfikar and Shadia.

Emam earned a bachelor's degree in Agriculture from Cairo University. Since then he has appeared in over 103 movies and 10 plays. He is one of the most famous actors in Egypt and the in the Arab world.

His contributions to the stage and film industries through addressing social and political issues in film and television earned him a cult following and a worldwide reputation that made him one of the most influential Arab public figures in the 1980s and 1990s. Adel Imam is considered by a huge mass of cult followers as a cultural icon in the history of modern Egypt.

In January 2000, the United Nations appointed Emam as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR.


Emam (left) with Salah Zulfikar in Virgo (1970)

Emam launched his career in theater in Ana w Howa w Heya (1962) with Fouad El-Mohandes and Shwikar and in cinema he acted in My Wife, the Director General (1966), My Wife's Dignity (1967), and My Wife's Goblin (1968) with leading actors Salah Zulfikar and Shadia. In early 1970s, he co-starred in Virgo (1970) with Salah Zulfikar, and in Find a scandal (1973) alongside Mervat Amin and Samir Sabry. Later, he started to act in starring roles in the 1980s and 1990s including The Suspect (1981), and Love in a Jail Cell (1983), both films alongside Soad Hosny.

Adel Emam (left) with Abdel Halim Hafez while recording Please, do not get me quickly (1973)

He was an important national figure in Egypt largely because of the Egyptian political roles he took on in many of his films and plays, he always focused on Egypt's politics and religious problems. These roles, whether he intended it or not, often put him in a critical position vis-à-vis the president or the government, such as The Terrorist (1994) alongside Salah Zulfikar in Zulfikar's final film role. He has been cast several times by the producer Emad Adeeb in movies like Morgan Ahmed Morgan (2007), and Hassan and Marcus (2008) starring Omar Sharif.

In 2005, he starred in The Embassy in the Building, playing a Cairene everyman inconvenienced when the Embassy of Israel moves into his apartment building. In the following year, Emam was one of the ensemble cast of The Yacoubian Building, a film reputed to be the highest-budgeted in Egyptian cinema and adapted from the novel of the same name. The story is a sharp look at contemporary Egyptian life through the prism of a faded downtown Cairo apartment building. Emam portrays an aging roué whose misadventures form a central strand of the film's complex narrative.[2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Adel Emam married to a woman named Hala El-Shalaqani and has three children: the director Rami Imam, Sarah Emam, and Mohamed Emam, who also starred in the movie The Yacoubian Building as Taha ElShazli. He's the brother of Esam Imam and Iman Imam. His brother-in-law was actor Mustafa Metwalli.

Adel Emam stated on a talk show hosted by Hala Sarhan that Amin Shalaby and the late Younes Shalaby as well as Saeed Saleh were his best friends since university.

In February 2012, Emam was sentenced (in absentia) to three months in jail for offending Islam.[4] Imam said he would appeal the sentence.[5] On September 12, 2012, Emam won his appeal when a Cairo misdemeanours court cleared him of defaming Islam in his films.[6]


Adel Emam received numerous awards through his five decades career. He won "Horus" Award twice for his leading roles in Omaret Yakobean and Al-irhabi at Cairo International Film Festival.[7] He won the Honorary Award of the Festival at 2014 Marrakech International Film Festival.[8] He won International Jury Award at São Paulo International Film Festival.[9] In 2005 and 2008 Dubai International Film Festival awarded Adel Emam the Lifetime Achievement Award. He received the first Career Achievement Award in El-Gouna Film Festival in 2017.[10]


Selected works[edit]

Year Film/TV Series/Play Name Translation Role
2020 Valentino (TV Series) Valentino Noor Valentino
2018 Awalem Khafyah (TV Series)[12][13][14] Hidden Worlds Helal Kamel
2017 Afareet Adly Alam (TV Series) Adly Alam's Ghosts Adly Alam
2016 Ma'amoon wa shorakaah (TV Series) Ma'amoon and his partners Ma'amoon Mobasher
2015 Ostaz wa rayees kesm (TV Series) Professor and Head of Department Fawzy Gomaa
2014 Saheb El Saada (TV Series) His Majesty Bahgat Abou-Kheir
2013 Al Aaraf (TV Series) The Fortune-teller Abd-El-Hamid El-Bakry / Hazem Ghorbal / Mostafa Zahran / Araby El-Kahky / Sobhy Abou-El-Fadl / Abou-El-Haggag El-Masry
2012 Firqit Naji Atallah (TV Series) Naji Atallah's Team Naji Atallah
2010 Zahaimar Alzheimer's Mahmoud
2009 Bobbos Bobbos Mohsen Hendawi
2008 Hassan w Morqos Hassan and Marcus Boules
2007 Morgan Ahmad Morgan Morgan Ahmad Morgan Morgan
2006 Emaret Yaqubian The Yacoubian Building Zakki
2005 El-Sefara fi El-Omara The Embassy Is In The Building Shereef
2004 Arees Menn Gehha Amneya A Security Service Groom Khattaab
2003 Al-Tagroba Al-Danemarkeya The Danish Experiment Qadri
2002 Ameer Al-Zalaam Prince of Darkness Saeed Al-Masri
2000 Bekheet Wa Adeela 3: Hello America Bekheet And Adeela 3: Hello America Bekheet
1999 El-Wad Mahroos Betaa El-Wazeer Mahroos; The Minister's Guy Mahroos
Body Guard (play) Body Guard Adham
1998 Ressala Ila Al-Wali A Message to the Governor Harfoosh
1997 Bekheet Wa Adeela 2: El-Gardal wel-Kanaka Bekheet and Adeela 2: The Pail and the Coffeepot Bekheet
1996 Al-Nom Fil-Assal Sleeping In The Honey - Fast asleep Colonel Magdi
1995 Bekheet Wa Adeela Bekheet And Adeela Bekheet
Toyoor Al-Zalaam Birds Of Darkness Fathy Nofal
1994 Al-Erhabi The Terrorist Ali[15]
1993 El Mansy The Forgotten Youssef El Mansy
Al-Zaeem (play) The Leader
1992 El Erhab Wal Kabab Terrorism and Kebab Ahmed
1991 Shams Elzanaty Shams Elzanaty Shams Elzanaty
1987 Al-Nemr Wal-Ontha The Tiger And The Female Waheed
1985 Al Halfout Arafa
1984 Hatta La-Yeteer Al-Dukhan So that smoke won't fly Fahmi
Al Ins wa Algen Humans and The Devil Jalal (The Devil)
El-Wad Sayyed El-Shaghghal (play) The Boy Sayyed The Servant Sayyed
1983 El Harrif The Professional Fares
Al-Motasawel The Beggar Hasanin
El Avocato The Advocate Hasan Sabanekh
1982 Dumu Fi Uyun Waqeha Tears In Insolent Eyes Gomaa El-Shawwan
1981 Al-Mashbouh The Suspect Maher
1979 Ihna Bitua' al-Autobis We are the Bus people Jabir
1978 Ahlam Al fata Al ta2r Dreams Of The Fugitive Boy Ibrahim El-Tayer
1975 Shahed Ma Shafsh Haga (play) The Witness Who Didn't See Anything Sarhan Abdelbaseer
Gharameyat Afifi (play)
1973 Madrast Al-Mushaghebeen (play) The School of Mischievous Bahgat
1971 Sahira Witch Waiter
1970 Borj El-Athraa Virgo
1965 Ana Feen W Enti Feen (play)
1968 Afreet Mirati My Wife's Goblin
1967 Karamat Zawgaty My Wife's Dignity
1967 Dhat Al-Bijama Al-Hamraa (play)
1966 Mirati Modeer Aam My Wife, the Director General
1966 3 Losoos Three Thieves
1966 Al-Nassabeen (play)
1963 Ana Wa Howa Wa Heya (play)


  1. ^ "The Top 3 Arab Male Actors". Forbes Middle East. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  2. ^ "الخميس.. عادل إمام يسافر للغردقة استعدادا لتكريمه بمهرجان الجونة السينمائى - اليوم السابع". اليوم السابع (in Arabic). 2017-09-16. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  3. ^ "عادل إمام يتسلم جائزة الإنجاز الإبداعى فى الدورة الأولى للجونة السينمائى - اليوم السابع". اليوم السابع (in Arabic). 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  4. ^ "BBC News - Egyptian court upholds actor Adel Imam's sentence". 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
  5. ^ "Islamists halt filming of Egyptian TV series". Daily News Egypt. 2012-02-09.
  6. ^ "Egyptian actor Adel Imam wins appeal in defaming Islam case". Ahram Online. 2012-09-12.
  7. ^ "Adel Imam". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  8. ^ "Adel Imam monte les marches (PHOTOS)". Al HuffPost Maghreb (in French). 2014-12-06. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  9. ^ "41ª Mostra Internacional de Cinema - 30ª Mostra - Premiações". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  10. ^ "El-Gouna Film Festival to honour Egyptian actor Adel Imam with Career Achievement Award - Film - Arts & Culture - Ahram Online". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  11. ^ "Adel Imam à Carthage : Décoré du Mérite culturel". 2016-11-03.
  12. ^ - Series - 2018 - Cast، Video، Trailer، photos، Reviews، Showtimes, retrieved 2018-01-17
  13. ^ "لأول مرة: عادل إمام يستكمل تصوير مسلسله من "منزله"". مجلة سيدتي (in Arabic). 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  14. ^ "الصحفى هلال كامل يتسبب فى سجن وزير الصحة بمسلسل "عوالم خفية" - اليوم السابع". اليوم السابع (in Arabic). 2018-05-24. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  15. ^ Murphy, Kim (12 April 1994). Movie Breaks Arab World's Silence on Terrorism Issues, Los Angeles Times, Retrieved December 14, 2010

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