After she first appeared in Henri Barakat’s Hassan wa Na’eema (Hassan and Na’eema, 1959), Suad Husni became known as the Cinderella of the Screen and The Mischievous Girl. Born into an artistic family, she started her career at the age of three. She could act, sing, dance, and perform both comedy and tragedy; a woman with a thousand faces and beautiful eyes.
However, for more than eight years, she too often appeared in films by second or third-rate directors, or directors who were past their prime.
In 1966, she costarred with Rushdi Abaza, an actor of amazing presence, in Shahawet Rigala (Men’s Mischievousness) by Hossam al-Din Mustafa, Saghira ala al-Hubb (Too Young to Love) and Ganab al-Safir (His Excellency the Ambassador) by Niyazi Mustafa, and Mabka al-‘Ushak (Lovers’ Wailing) by Hasan al-Sayfi. Famous directors like Salah Abu Sayf, Kamal al-Shaykh, Yusef Chahine, Hassan al-Imam, and Atef Salem competed for her. Ahmed Badrakhan ended his career with Suad starring in his film Nadia (1969).
Al-Qahira Thalatheen (Cairo ’30, 1966), adapted from a story by Naguib Mahfouz, and al-Zawga al-Thaneya (The Second Wife, 1967) from a story by Ahmed Rushdi Saleh were Abu Sayf’s most successful films with Suad Husni. In 1979, Husni played a Persian spy in the Iraqi propaganda film al-Qadisseya, Abu Sayf’s worst film, shown only in a second-rate theater in Cairo.
Yusef Chahine directed her in al-lkhtiar (The Choice, 1971) from a story by Mahfouz and al-Nass wal-Nil (The People and the Nile, 1972) about building the Aswan High Dam. Neither achieved any success, and the second was a disaster.
Her three films with Kamal al-Shaykh—Bi’r al-Hirman (Well of Deprivation, 1969), Ghurub wa Shuruk (Sunset and Sunrise, 1970) and Ala Man Nutlik al-Rassass (Who Do We Fire At?)—were hugely successful. Her film with Atef Salem, Ayna Akli? (Where’s My Mind? 1974) achieved similar success.
Her finest moment, however, was in Hassan al-Imam’s musical melodrama, Khalli Balak min Zuzu (Watch our for Zuzu, 1971). For the first time in Egyptian cinema, Suad played a mischievous university student who initiates the flirting with her beau, until he falls in love with her. Its success is perhaps only matched by Abi Fawqa alShagara (My Father is up the Tree).
At the peak of her glory, she married Ali Badrakhan, son of the director of Nadia. During their marriage and after their divorce and her marriage to scriptwriter Maher Awad, he directed six of her films, from al-Hubb iladhi Kan (The Love That Was, 1973) to al-Ra’i wal-Nissa’ (The Shepherd and the Women, 1991) with which she ended her career at the age of forty-eight.