KUWAIT CITY, Aug 16, (KUNA): Despite scorching heat and summer-end high humidity, waves of nationals and residents on Wednesday gathered at the funeral of the renowned Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha to express their deep grief at the great loss and bid the last good-bye to the deceased.
At around dusk, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim led the huge crowd of citizens and expatriates, overseeing with tearful eyes coffin of the actor, who had made them laugh for many years with his much applauded theatrical plays, being buried. Speaking to reporters at the funeral, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Acting Minister of State for Youth Affairs Khaled Al-Roudhan, said Abdulredha was an example to follow with respect of work devotion and national unity.
He represented all segments of the Kuwaiti society, the minister said, indicating that many Kuwaiti actors followed his steps. Presence of this large crowd of mourners reflects people’s affection toward him, the minister added, alluding to thousands of people who gathered at the cemetery to bid Abdulredha’s last good-bye. Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Information Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al- Sabah, who received the coffin upon arrival by air in Kuwait, said the deceased had devoted his life for serving Kuwait and promoting ideal patriotic messages.
Although his body has died, his works and thoughts will live on, the minister said in his eulogy of Abdulredha, who entertained people for many years with television, radio and theatrical works. Bashar, son of the deceased, expressed deep gratitude to His Highness the Amir for transporting the coffin back home aboard an Amiri aircraft.
Artist Bassem Abdulamir said Abdulredha had preached faithfulness to the homeland. The famous comedian Tareq Al-Ali said the Kuwaiti and Gulf arts “lost a basic foundation.” Dr Habib Ghloum, a UAE artist, said Abdulredha was a professor not only in arts but also in humanity. Abdulredha passed away at age 78 in London last Friday after suffering from a health setback. The funeral drew a large crowd of people due to the popularity of the actor who had a prolific career spanning decades.
Likeness of Kuwait’s late legendary actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha will now be emblazoned on special postage stamps, the ministry of state services announced. The stamps are but a token of appreciation for a man who was a household name and whose theatrical odyssey spanned for more than half a century, the ministry said in a statement. The statement added that the special stamps will be available in post offices nationwide soon.
The shockwaves of grief are still sweeping through Kuwait after Abdulredha passed away due to a health setback on Friday. Abdulredha dedicated his life in serving Kuwait, the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Information Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said early Wednesday.
The emotional reaction of the Kuwaiti people towards the death of the prolific actor displayed the people’s respect towards his decadeslong legacy, said the minister. The minister took the chance to offer his condolences to the actor’s family, saying that the audience will sourly miss Abdulredha’s artistic input. “Get off my back, I’m in London to have fun, to change scenery and enjoy myself. I’m not in London to be hospitalized,” was a line ‘Abu Adnan’ said in the 1981 play “Bye Bye London”.
Born on July 15, 1939 in Dirwazat Abdulrazzaq, Sharq, Kuwait, Abdulredha ranked the seventh among 14 siblings. He did not start his career as an actor, but first worked in the Department of Printing of the Ministry of Guidance and Information. He then traveled on a scholarship to Egypt in 1956 to learn printmaking, and in 1961 he traveled on a mission to Germany to complete his studies in printmaking arts. A son of a ‘Nokhetha’ or sea captain, Abdulredha’s talent of performing to crowds and ability to make people laugh started with him as a young boy, entertaining his mother with his siblings while his father was away for months a year.
This raw talent then was nurtured, developed and put on the right track after Abdulredha returned from Germany and started working with Egyptian director Zaki Tulaimat, before a young Abdulredha began to carve his own way to become one of Kuwait’s and the Arabian Gulf’s art pillars. With dozens of plays, TV and radio series that spanned from the early 1960s all the way to the early years of this Millinnium, Abdulredha had long established himself as among the few Gulf actors to sear their names in the Arabic artistic memory. His side-splitting slapstick comedy in the 1960s (e.g Hawer Zawer, Al- Malgouf), dapper and dashing performances during the 1970s (e.g Bani Samit, Thahiyat Beit Al-Ezz), and mature and well-rounded productions in the 1980s (e.g Fursan Al-Manakh, Bye Bye Arab), continued until the end of his career, and eventually his life. Abdulredha kept on going, unstoppable, even bullets could not steer him off. He was the target of an assassination attempt due to his role portraying the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1991 play (Seif Al-Arab).
Arguably, one of the best whoever mastered the role, Adulredha refused to cancel, or even delay the show for that night even though he was fired at while on the way to the theater. Frequently referred to as Kuwait’s fourth Tower, Abdulredha was in many ways, and seen by many of his fans of different generations, as the personification of the Kuwaiti man, whether it was for his political humor, social rants, or even own speech and appearance.
Late actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha dedicated his life in serving Kuwait, the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Minister of Information Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah said early Wednesday. The emotional reaction of the Kuwaiti people towards the death of the prolific actor displayed the people’s respect towards his decades-long legacy, said the minister.
The minister took the chance to offer his condolences to the actor’s family, saying that the audience will sourly miss Abdulredha’s artistic input. The late actor passed away at age 78 in one of London’s hospitals last Friday. UAE Higher Council Member and Sharjah Ruler Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad al-Qasemi sent a cable of condolences to Kuwait’s State Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah over the demise of Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha.
UAE news agency (WAM) quoted Sheikh Sultan as offering his condolences to the Kuwaiti, Gulf, and Arab theatrical family, and expressing his heartfelt sorrow over the loss of an “arts icon.” The late actor “gave a lot to drama and the arts and left behind a legacy glittered with achievements,” he said. Abdulhussein, an actor and comedian, regarded a pioneer in the theatrical movement locally and in the Gulf Arab region, died on Friday at a hospital in London.