Youssef Wahbi

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Youssef Wahbi
Leila Mourad with Youssef Wahbi in Habib El-Rouh in 1949
Born Youssef Wahby
(1898-07-14)July 14, 1898
Fayoum, Egypt
Died October 17, 1982(1982-10-17) (aged 84)
Cairo, Egypt
Occupation Actor
Years active 1932–1978

Youssef Wahbi (Arabic: يوسف وهبي‎‎) (July 14, 1898 – October 17, 1982) was an Egyptian stage and film actor and director, a leading star of the 1930s and 1940s and one of the most prominent Arab stage actors of any era, who also served on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946. He was born to a high state official in Egypt but renounced his family's wealth and traveled to Rome in the 1920s to study theatre. Besides his stage work, he acted in about 50 films, starting with Awlad al-Zawat (Sons of Aristocrats; 1932) to "Iskanderiya... lih?" (Alexandria... Why?, 1978). He died, sick with arthritis and with a fractured pelvis, survived by his wife.


Youssef Wahbi was born into an Egyptian family of Turkish origin.[1] He started acting in the Golden Age of the Egyptian Cinema from 1932 till he died in Cairo, Egypt at the age of 84, in 1982. Even though he comes from a very rich family, throughout his career and life his entire focus was the Film Industry.

Mr. Youssef Wahby has also starred in several plays which he translated into many languages due to his fluency in English, French, and Italian, along with his native Arabic tongue. He played many roles that were different and unusual for both Egyptian film and plays. He once played the Devil and he later on wanted to play Muhammad but the media and Al-Azhar University, the authoritative institution on Sunni Islam, were opposed to the idea and he was forbidden from going through with it.[2]

He is one of the most respected and beloved artists of all time in the Cinema of Egypt and several French and English companies tried to save his movies by reissuing them again.


Year Film Role International English Name(s)
1932 Awlad el zawat Actor a.k.a. the Spoiled Children or Sons of Aristocrats
1935 Al Defaa Actor and director a.k.a. The defense
1937 El Magid el khalid Actor a.k.a. Eternal Glory
1938 Saet el tanfiz Actor a.k.a. The Hour of Fate
1940 Leila momtera Actor a.k.a. Stormy night
1941 Leila, bint el rif actor a.k.a. Leila, the school girl
Areess min Istambul Actor a.k.a. A Suitor from Istanbul
1945 Safeer Gohannam Actor a.k.a. The Ambassador of Hell
1949 Ghazal Al Banat Actor (as himself) a.k.a. The Flirtation of Girls
1955 Hayat ou maut Actor a.k.a. Life or Death
1979 Iskanderija... lih? Actor a.k.a. Alexandria... Why?


"Youssef Wahby Dead at 84; Dean of the Egyptian Stage", The New York Times, October 17, 1982.

  1. ^ Landau, Jacob M. (2016), Studies in the Arab Theater and Cinema, Routledge, p. 81, ISBN 1317246276 
  2. ^ Alessandra. Raengo & Robert Stam (2004). A Companion To Literature And Film. Blackwell Publishing. p. 31. ISBN 0-631-23053-X.