Most of us have our favourite on-screen couples. We enjoy watching them in movies and on TV, and we eagerly look forward to seeing them grace glamorous red carpets with their sizzling chemistry. And when these couples become real life partners, fans and the media fall into a truly frenzied state, following their every move and, of course, their every fight. In Egyptian cinema, from the golden age up until today, we have watched a slew of on-screen celebrity couples fall in love in real life, get married, and become everyone’s favourite real couples. Some of these unions have stood the test of time, while others fell apart and broke our hearts. But regardless of the screen couples’ real-life fate, we’ll always have their on-screen fairytales ending to hold on to.
Anwar Wagdy & Laila Mourad
Widely recognised as Egypt’s original sweetheart star couple, Wagdy and Mourad were married for eight years, during which they starred in more than a dozen films together, including Ghazl Al Banat (Cotton Candy), Qalbi Dalili (My Heart is My Guide), Anbar (Prison Cell), Laila Fil Zalam (Laila in the Dark), El Hawa wel Chabab (Love & Youth) & Shuhaddaa El Gharam (Love Martyrs), and more. While their box office and critical success continued to grow, eventually their relationship suffered on a personal level, and they separated in 1954.
Omar Sharif & Faten Hamama
After their undeniable onscreen chemistry and obvious magnetic attraction, the iconic couple were married in 1955, sparking a new era of romance in Egyptian cinema. They became the epitome of a dream couple for decades, even after their divorce. After co-starring in several beloved films, such as Ayamna El Helwa (Our Sweet Days), Ard El Salam (Land of Peace), Sayedat El Kasr (Lady of the Palace) and Nahr El Hob (River of Love), Sharif skyrocketed to international success and was abroad for long periods of time. Living apart eventually strained their marriage and they divorced in 1974.
Fouad El-Mohandes & Shwikar
Fouad El Mohandes and Shwikar’s story is about more than just romance or on-screen chemistry, it is a story of a lifetime friendship and endless love. The two worked together on the play, Ana w Howa w Heya (Me, Him & Her) in 1964, during which El-Mohandes proposed to Shwikar on stage. They starred in numerous classic films together, including Garima Ela Rob’a (Three Quarters of a Crime) and Ard El Nefaq (Land of Hypocricy). Unfortunately, the flame of their romance eventually started to dim, and they divorced in 1980. However, they remained lifelong friends and companions.
Roshdi Abaza & Samia Gamal
Roushdy Abaza, known as the Don Juan of Egyptian cinema, was notorious for his numerous flings and marriages over the years. In a romance that defined the ‘70s era to all lovers in Egypt, it was famous dancer and actress Samia Gamal who managed to tie him down the longest. In 1962, Gamal fell hard for Abaza while starring opposite him in Al Ragol Al Thani (The Second Man), and the buzz around their love story took on a life of its own. They went on to star together in more films, until their 17-year marriage eventually ended, due to Abaza’s extramarital affairs.
Hussein Fahmi & Mervat Amin
Fahmy and Amin met on the set of their controversial – unreleased – movie Raghabat Mamnou’a (Forbidden Desire), where they witnessed their own forbidden desire for one another grow while they were both married to other people. They went on to star together in El Ekhwa El Aada’ (Enemy Brothers), and both divorced their spouses shortly thereafter. The couple announced their marriage while shooting the movie Mokalamat Montasaf Al Lail (Midnight Calls) in 1974. They eventually divorced, but remained good friends.
Samir Ghanem & Dalal Abdelaziz
Dalal Abdelaziz was just starting her career in the eighties when an actor recommended her for a role in Ahlan Ya Doctor (Hello, Doctor) opposite Samir Ghanem. Abdelaziz recalls how Ghanem courted her at the time by constantly buying her flowers and driving her to and from the theatre every day. At some point their popularity soared, especially when their charming daughters started acting and rose to stardom themselves. Abdelaziz and Ghanem are the longest-lasting couple in the movie industry, with more than 35 years of marriage, and counting!
Ahmed Helmy & Mona Zaki
With Mona Zaki being the leading lady of her generation and Helmy the modern-day “Prince of Comedy,” this couple represents a new era of romance in Egyptian cinema. They first worked together in 2000, in a film called Omar. This was followed by Leh Khaletni Ahebak (Why did You Make me Fall in Love with You), and that’s when they fell in love. The couple tied the knot in 2002 and celebrated with a honeymoon in South Africa. Today, with three lovely children and almost two decades of marriage, the duo remains one of the most adorable celebrity couples.
Amr Youssef & Kinda Alloush
Ahmed Dawood & Ola Roshdy
The beautiful Syrian actress Kinda Alloush and Egyptian heartthrob Amr Youssef are the definition of both fun and red carpet glamour. While working together on several projects, like Bartita, they developed a friendship that eventually turned into love and they tied the knot with a huge wedding in Aswan in 2017. During the past few years, another couple, Ola Roshy and Ahmed Dawood also gained fans’ love and admiration for the obvious chemistry between them as well as their openness about their personal life.