Katy (1958) كيتي

This is dancer/actress Katy (كيتي aka Keti, Kitty, Katie etc) performing in a scene from the 1951 Egyptian musical ‘Leilet al Henna’ (ليلة الحنة Henna Night ). The film starred Shadia, Kamal al Shinnawi, Mary Munib, Fardous Mohamed and Seraj Mounir. The film was directed by Anwar Wajdi. Katy was born in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Greek father and Egyptian mother. She acted and danced in many Egyptian movies from the 1950s through to the mid-1960s but returned to Athens in 1965 after being implicated in a spy plot which apparently involved Egyptian/Israeli double agent Refaat el Gammal رأفت الهجّان known as Refaat al Hagan in Egypt and Jack Beton in Israel. Katy appeared in at least two Greek language films following her return to Greece. She also speaks Greek in one of her earlier Egyptian films where she plays the daughter of the local Greek barber.  Just as a bit of background, Refaat al Gammal loved acting and appeared in small roles in several Egyptian movies.
‘Leilet al Henna’ (henna night) is a female only gathering which takes place one or two days before the actual celebration of the marriage. On the henna night the bride and her friends gather, a henna artist comes to the house, and the henna designs are applied. The choice of designs can be very intricate. Henna always looks better the following day once the design has ‘set’ and the dried off henna has been removed.  I usually rub olive oil on to seal the design, I don’t know if that makes a difference or not though 🙂
Trivia: The director of this film, famous actor Anwar Wajdi, married and divorced singer/actress Leila Murad on three separate occasions. His other wives were Elham Hussein and actress Leila Fawzy.

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