Renowned Egyptian actor Hesham Selim passes away after long fight with cancer

Renowned Egyptian actor Hesham Selim passes away after long fight with cancer
Actor Hesham Selim, who courageously supported his transgender son, Nour, has passed away from cancer at the age of 64.
2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
22 September, 2022
Hesham Selim attends the Closing Night Muhr Awards Ceremony during day eight of the 7th Annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the Madinat Jumeriah Complex on 19 December 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. [Getty]

Renowned Egyptian actor Hisham Selim, 64 years old, passed away on Thursday, after a long battle against cancer over the past year. 

Selim, who was the son of the late football legend and businessman Saleh Selim, was born on January 27, 1958, and was among the most recognised actors of his generation.

His first debut on film was with late iconic actress Faten Hamama in the 1972 movie, "Embratoreyet Meem" (Empire M). 

Selim played several other prominent roles in cinema, theatre and TV, including films directed by late award-winning director Youssef Chahine such as "Awdat El-Ebn Al-Dal" (The Return of the Prodigal Son) in 1976 and "Eskendria Kaman wa Kaman" (Alexandria Again and Forever) in 1989.

Around two years ago, Selim revealed  during a popular TV show on "Al-Qahera Wal Nas" TV channel that his son Nour, formerly known as Noura, is transgender. 

"My daughter Noura is now my son Nour… This is what God wanted... I was not confused or surprised, because from the day she was born I could see her as a boy," he told filmmaker Enas El-Degheedy who hosted the show.

"As his father, I have to help him to be able to live the life that he wants," Selim added.

The announcement sent shockwaves across conservative Egypt, particular since it was a famed Egyptian father who openly support his transgender child, which until then was virtually unheard of, much less broadcasted on television.   

On the other hand, activists and most members of Selim's artistic community hailed Selim's and his son's courage.

Selim is survived by his wife, Nadia El-Ghaleb, two daughters and a son, Nour, from his first wife, Mervat El-Nahas.