Algerian actor Ahmed Benaissa has died at the age of 78. The actor and comedian tragically passed away just hours before Parisian thriller 'Sons of Ramses' was due to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. He reportedly died from a long illness, reports aceshowbiz.com.
"I am deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Ahmed Benaissa," director Clement Cogitore said in a statement. "The film would not exist without him and words can't express our sorrow at premiering the film in Cannes today. The art scene has lost one of its prominent people. He (Benaissa) leaves behind a theatrical and cinematic artistic legacy."
Born in Algeria, Ahmed was trained at the prestigious National Theater School in France before going on to star in over 120 movies. Back in 2019, he starred in 'Wlad Lahlal', which is considered to be one of the greatest Algerian drama series of all time after pulling in more than 112 million viewers.
He was best known for starring in the critically acclaimed films 'Gates of the Sun' and 'Close Enemies'. Ahmed, who was said to have been survived by his wife and two sons, starred as the father of the titular clairvoyant in 'Sons Of Ramses' and the Friday's Critics' Week screening of the film at the annual festival will be dedicated to him. Mk2 films said in a statement posted to Facebook: "We have learned of the sudden death of comedian Ahmed Benaissa All our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.
Tonight's screening of SONS OF RAMSES (GOUTTE D'OR) in Cannes is dedicated to him. (sic)" Also expressing condolence over the loss was Sourieh Molougi, Algeria's Minister of Culture and the Arts.
He said in a statement, "The art scene has lost one of its prominent people. He (Benaissa) leaves behind a theatrical and cinematic artistic legacy."