Youssef Wahbi (Arabic: يوسف وهبي) (July 14, 1898 – October 17, 1982) was an Egyptian stage and film actor and director, a leading star of the 1930s and 1940s and one of the most prominent Arab stage actors of any era, who also served on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946. He was born to a high state official in Egypt but renounced his family's wealth and traveled to Rome in the 1920s to study theatre. Besides his stage work, he acted in about 50 films, starting with Awlad al-Zawat (Sons of Aristocrats; 1932) to "Iskanderiya... lih?" (Alexandria... Why?, 1978). He died, sick with arthritis and with a fractured pelvis, survived by his wife.
Youssef Wahbi was born into an Egyptian family of Turkish origin. He started acting in the Golden Age of the Egyptian Cinema from 1932 till he died in Cairo, Egypt at the age of 84, in 1982. Even though he comes from a very rich family, throughout his career and life his entire focus was the Film Industry.
Mr. Youssef Wahby has also starred in several plays which he translated into many languages due to his fluency in English, French, and Italian, along with his native Arabic tongue. He played many roles that were different and unusual for both Egyptian film and plays. He once played the Devil and he later on wanted to play Muhammad but the media and Al-Azhar University, the authoritative institution on Sunni Islam, were opposed to the idea and he was forbidden from going through with it.
He is one of the most respected and beloved artists of all time in the Cinema of Egypt and several French and English companies tried to save his movies by reissuing them again.
|Year||Film||Role||International English Name(s)|
|1932||Awlad el zawat||Actor||a.k.a. the Spoiled Children or Sons of Aristocrats|
|1935||Al Defaa||Actor and director||a.k.a. The defense|
|1937||El Magid el khalid||Actor||a.k.a. Eternal Glory|
|1938||Saet el tanfiz||Actor||a.k.a. The Hour of Fate|
|1940||Leila momtera||Actor||a.k.a. Stormy night|
|1941||Leila, bint el rif||actor||a.k.a. Leila, the school girl|
|Areess min Istambul||Actor||a.k.a. A Suitor from Istanbul|
|1945||Safeer Gohannam||Actor||a.k.a. The Ambassador of Hell|
|1949||Ghazal Al Banat||Actor (as himself)||a.k.a. The Flirtation of Girls|
|1955||Hayat ou maut||Actor||a.k.a. Life or Death|
|1979||Iskanderija... lih?||Actor||a.k.a. Alexandria... Why?|