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Bahiga el Mahdi

(b. 1916)

Born Henriette Cohen, Bahiga may well have owed her new name to Alexandrian actress Bahiga Hafez, role model and pioneer.

Bahiga el Mahdi was famous for her exceptionally uncomely looks. She was known for portraying the ugly wife, a terror to her husband and her daughters. Laced with comedy most of the time, hers was not an unpopular image with the audience and she remains endearingly remembered for being one of the very few who dared expose her physical ugliness so candidly on the screen.


1935: Shalom the Dragoman (Shalom el tourgmân)
1936: Black and White (el Abyad wel esewed)
1937: A Night in the Lifetime (Layla fel ‘omr)
1937: Seven o’clock (el Sâ‘ah Sab‘ah)
1938: The Telegram (el Telegraf)
1938: This is my nature! (Anâ tab ī Kidah)
1938: Long Awaited for Jour (Youm el Mounah)
1939: Osman and Ali (‘Othman wa ‘Ali)
1939: Lend me Three Pounds (Sallifnî talâtah guinîh)