Ahmed Benaissa has died at the age of 78.
The actor and comedian - who was best known for starring in the critically acclaimed films 'Gates of the Sun and 'Close Enemies' - most recently starred in 'Sons of Ramses' and tragically passed away just hours before the Parisian thriller is due to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday (20.05.22), reportedly from a long illness.
Director Clement Cogitore said in a statement: "I am deeply saddened at the sudden passing of Ahmed Benaissa. 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."
Ahmed was born in Algeria and trained at the prestigious National Theater School in France before going on to star in over 120 movies and back in 2019 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.
Ahmed - who is 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.
m2K 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)