The 7th Art: ‘The Magician’

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Written by Farida Gamal

Can you believe it’s already been 40 days since the news hit each and every one of us like a ton of bricks? Maybe some of us expected it with the deterioration of his health, in light of his recent illness, but undoubtedly, we’d never imagined the world after the death of the Egyptian cinema icon and the outstanding actor we all unexceptionally admire.

Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, or ‘The Magician’ [Al-Sa7er] as he was popularly known, passed away on November 12. Even though we all idolized Abdel Aziz, some of us might not have known enough about him, so here’s all you need to know:

He was born in the west of Alexandria, June 4th 1946 in a district called ‘Al-Wardeyan’; later, he enrolled in the University of Alexandria, specializing in agricultural studies. Subsequently, he got his Masters in the upbringing of bees.

Just like most artists, through the university’s theatre program, his talent for acting unleashed and was brought to light; this led him to secure his first role in the TV series ‘Al Dawama’ in 1973, along with prominent actors, such as: Mahmoud Yassin and Nelly.

Al Dawama (1973)

Later in 1974, he played his first movie role in ‘Al Hafeed’.

Al Hafeed (1974)

‘The Magician’ went through over a hundred divergent films, reincarnating as hundreds of distinctive characters, which we’re all familiar with, at least, most of them.

“…reincarnating as hundreds of distinctive characters…”

The insane drug dealer’s [Zarzur, from ‘Ibrahim Al Abyad’s] one-liners drew smiles and giggles upon many of our faces.

 

Ibrahim Al Abyad (2009)

…And don’t dare say that you’ve never recognized him as the hilarious Mazagangy in ‘Al-Keif’…

 

Al Keif (1985)

…Or felt the misery of Mansour Bahgat, a magician and single parent of a presumptuous teenage girl.

 

Al Saher (2001)

We all found ourselves in the visions of the blind, misfortunate Sheikh Hosny in ‘Al Kit-Kat’…

Al Kit-Kat (1991)

Furthermore, Abdel Aziz was as adept on cinema as he was on TV; he played roles in about 9 prominent television shows.

Didn’t we all admire how he portrayed an Egyptian spy settling in Israel for 20 years in ‘Raafat Al Hagaan’?

 

Raafat El-Hagan (1987)

 

…or got the chills when Abou-Heiba merely spoke?

 

Abo Heba Feh Gabal El Halal (2014)

As strange as it might sound, Abdel Aziz’s family never officially notified the media about the cause of his illness. However, all that’s been leaked was that he suffered from a rare disorder; some news sources stated that he suffered from paranasal sinus cancer, which led to a coma in his final days. Other sources stated that he might have been suffering from low hemoglobin levels. In the end, really, we respect the family’s privacy as his family has been seeking to keep it a secret for a long time until he passed away at the age of 70.

Abdel Aziz with his family

Even after his death, his accomplishments and achievements, which benefited, and enlightened others, are truly the reason behind his immortality. Indeed, Mahmoud Abdel Aziz will never be forgotten, with every superb film, with every diverse role, each played with proficiency and passion – from villains to heroes, rich to poor, ridiculous to sensible, and countless characters that will forever remain with us as ‘The Magician’ rests in peace.

Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, you will forever be remembered, for you’ve made us laugh, cry, look beyond for perspective, and most importantly, you carried a gentle soul. May you rest in peace.

What’s your favorite role by ‘The Magician’? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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