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Much-loved Kuwaiti actor Abdulrida dies at 78

By AFP
media A portrait provided by the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA on August 12, 2017 shows prominent actor Abdulhussain Abdulredha, a much-loved figure across the Gulf, who died on Friday in London at the age of 78 KUNA/AFP

Kuwaiti actor, playwright and comedian Abdulhussain Abdulrida has died at the age of 78 after a career spanning decades that made him a household name across the Gulf.

State news agency KUNA said Abdulrida, who had heart surgery in 2015, died of natural causes on Friday in London where he had been in an intensive care unit for two days.

The seventh of 14 children, Abdulrida was born and raised in Kuwait and rose to stardom through his satirical television and theatre work, largely critical of Arab and global politics.

Throughout a career launched in the 1960s and which stretched to May 2017, Abdulrida tackled issues including mass Arab emigration, the rise of political Islam and the plight of stateless people in the region.

Abdulhussain also penned, and sang, the tune "Mister Bush" in the early 1990s, dedicated to former US president George Bush after the Gulf War triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

Social media users from Saudi Arabia to Qatar took to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to mourn the loss of Abdulrida.

"Rough morning. Emotions running low. A mourning nation. Abdulhussain Abdulrida is no longer here with us," read one tweet from Kuwait.

"May he rest in peace. Today we lost a piece of Kuwait," an Instagram user posted alongside a picture of the national obituary for Abdulrida.

In May, Abdulrida had appeared in the massively popular "Selfie", a television special that airs across the Gulf during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

 
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