Zaki Rostom

We all remember the late Egyptian actor, legend Zaki Rostom. We remember his great talent and his amazing movies, but not many of us know who he really was or what he has suffered throughout his inspiring life and career.

On his birthday, we’d like to celebrate this resilient and inspiring man with you!

His Early Life and Struggles

Zaki Rostom was born to a very prestigious family in 1903. He was also an athlete who came second in the national weightlifting competition in 1923.

However, the young man then retired because of his strong passion for acting. But, like any traditional Egyptian family, especially back in the days, Rostom’s family found it shameful to be associated with the acting and entertainment scene in general.

Rostom eventually respected his father’s wishes and joined Law School to match the family’s prestigious status.

Shortly after, being the rebellious man he is, Rostom couldn’t let go of his dream, regardless of what anyone thought, and dropped out of law school in order to chase his acting career.

As a consequence, Rostom was obviously kicked out of his own home and his family cut all ties with him. Not just that, they also abandoned him without any money.

His Acting Career

A lot of people now would only remember the great Zaki Rostom by always being the villain in movies. Such as Faten Hamama’s “Nahr El Hob“, Omar El Sherif’s “Sera3 Fel Wady” and “Raseef Nemra 5“. However, the late talented actor also played other important roles where he wasn’t the bad guy.

Such as the very popular movie “Ana w Banaty” starring Fayza Ahmed, Zahret El Ola, and Nahid Sherif. As well as Fayrouz’s “Yasmine” and Shadia’s “Ma3lesh ya Zahr“.

International Career

Rostom, who was very fluent in English, was offered a leading role in a global movie by Colombia Productions. And although this would have given him much more success and fame, he declined. Turns out that the movie contained a bit of racism towards Arabs.

His Characteristics

Although, at his time, he had gained huge popularity in the entertainment scene; Rostom was never really the party lad. He usually refrained from attending ceremonies, celebrations, and whatnot. That goes back to his introverted character which was more or less the reason why the actor did not get married or have any children until the day he died.

Going Deaf

As we can see already, this man suffered his way into life. From the moment he decided to follow his heart and go against his family’s will, to being a very introverted famous figure.

But what’s really tragic is that as Rostom got older, he began to lose his hearing bit by bit until he went completely deaf in 1968. This led him to retire from his beloved acting career, as he was left without a choice.

His Tragic Death

On February 15th, 1972, Rostom had a heart attack and lost his life at the age of 69. However, what’s really tragic about this, is that with all the glory and fame he had throughout his career – the career that’s supposed to be filled with so many people – after his death, none of the artistic community even attended his funeral, let alone remember him.

Nowadays, this is sort of common. It usually happens with the old actors who have not done much throughout their artistic career and may have gone MIA at the end of it. However, we didn’t think that this was also the case back in the days, especially considering his 240+ significant works. 

Such a sad and inspiring story, may his soul forever rest in peace!