Samir Sabri: The Benevolent Multitalented Artist

Illustrated by Jeannette Khouri
Illustrated by Jeannette Khouri

Samir Sabri: The Benevolent Multitalented Artist

A broadcaster, actor, singer, and producer, these are qualities that are rarely found in one person, but his talent enabled him to break into all these fields, after he became a high-level interlocutor and an equally distinguished artist.

The foregoing is a simple summary of the career of the actor Samir Sabri, who was qualified by circumstances to be present in the public sphere from various platforms, from radio, through cinema, to television.

Samir Sabri had suffered health issues a few months ago, as a result of which he entered a hospital in Cairo, for precise heart surgery. He was transferred to the Armed Forces Hospital in Maadi to complete the necessary treatment after suffering a health crisis, and following President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's decision to treat him at the state's expense.

Sabri, through his long artistic and media career, achieved great popularity in Egypt and the Arab world, and also made a place for himself in the heart of show business because of his noble and humane stances with art colleagues who were left behind by the lights of glory and fame, and were attacked by poverty and disease.


Alexandrian-born Muhammad Sameer Galaal Sabri studied at Victoria College and the Faculty of Arts, English Department, before going to Oxford University where he studied Shakespearean Drama.

Thanks to Abdel Halim Hafez, Samir Sabri made it to the cinema. He first appeared in Love Story (Hikayyet Houbb) while Abdel Halim was singing his famous song Bahlam bîk (I Dream of You), and it was in Halim’s last film Father up the Tree (Abî fawq el chagarah) that Samir Sabri played a small role.

Later, director Hassan el Emam gave him some small roles, before he was launched into main roles in A Girl Among Girls (Bint min el banât) in 1968, My Story with Life (Hikâyatî ma’a el zamân) in 1973, Bamba Kashar (Bamba Kachar) in 1974, Have Pity on Your Parents (Wa bi-l-wâliJourn ihsânan) in 1976 and The Prayer of the Ill-treated (Do’â’ el madhloumîn) in 1977.

In the seventies, he presented the "International Club" program and hosted a group of stars of culture and art, including "Abdul Halim Hafez, musician Muhammad Abd al-Wahhab, and the great writer Fikri Abaza."

Sabri also presented the "Al-Meshwar" program, and it achieved the high viewership ratings, which made film production companies bet on him, and see him appealing to the audience.


The artistic journey of Samir Sabri continued until the number of his films reached 145  that spanned the historical, social, national, romantic, musical and action and he co-starred with dozens of veteran stars, including Fouad Al Mohandes, Rushdi Abaza, Warda, Abdel Halim Hafez, Farid Shawqi, Nour El Sharif, and Adel Imam.

Samir Sabri produced about 16 films such as Hello Captain (Ahlân yâ kabtin) in 1978, Lips that do not Know Lying (Chifâh la ta’rif el kidhib) in 1980, Hell Under Water (Gahîm taht el mâ’) in 1989 and Hell 2 (Gahîm itnîn).

He is famous for his musicals and songs in his films. He lately formed a group of 45 musicians and dancers who always appear in his successful programs such as “Hadha el Masâ" and “Kân Dhamân”.

In his songs he combines colloquial Arabic words with words from other languages, something that recalls the cosmopolitan spirit of Alexandria’s golden age. Indeed, Alexandrian born writer Ahmed Ragab refers to him as the "Ambassador of Alexandria".

Sabry played comic, musical as well as villainous roles. Among his best roles are; “Al-mahfaza ma’aaya” (I’ve got the wallet), “Al-Toot wal-nabboot “ (Bering and Clubs), and “Noshaaterokom al-afraah” (Our congratulations).

Samir Sabri was not satisfied with acting, but also established an art production company through which he produced several films in which he co-starred, including: “Tears of Her Majesty”, “Hell Under Water”, and “The House of the Poisoned Family”, and his giving continues to this day. In recent years, he participated in a number of artistic works, including the series "Guava Theory" wit  Ilham Shaheen, and "The Pleading" alongside Basem Yakhour and Farouk al-Fishawy. He presented the movie “Cairo Time” in front of Nour El-Sherif, and participated in the role of an announcer in the series “Valentino” with Adel Imam two years ago, and he is awaiting the screening of the movie “2 Talaat Harb” with Mahmoud Kabil, Abeer Sabri, Ahmed Wafik, directed by Magdy Ahmed Ali.


The Egyptian Lebanese House recently published the memoirs of the artist Samir Sabri under the title "Tales of a Lifetime", where the great artist reveals the scenes of half a century of art and politics.

Sabri reveals the secrets of the marriage of Umm Kulthum and the jealousy of Abdel Halim Hafez towards Souad Hosny.

Also, Sabri narrates a lot about the coincidences that changed his life, the secrets of his marriage, which he hid from his family, his son who left him to live in England, the stories of his love for 3 stars, and about a dilemma that made him the star media personality.

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