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Nadim Sawalha

Nadim Sawalha

After finishing his drama studies he joined the BBC Overseas Service as an actor, radio producer and scriptwriter. Since then he has worked extensively in theatre, television and cinema.

His theatre credits include; Turning Over at The Bush Theatre, Jenkins Ear, The Royal Court Theatre, White Chameleon, The Royal National Theatre, A Dream of People, The RSC, ‘Vladimir' in his production of Waiting for Godot at The Lyric Studio, Hammersmith. He successfully toured with his one-man show Ousama – A Moslem Nobleman's View of the Crusades at The Shaw Theatre and in the Middle East and played ‘George Kahn' in the Royal Court's production of East is East. He appeared as ‘Pradip' in the Royal National Theatre's production of The Waiting Room and as ‘Norman and Waiter' in Patrick Marber's production of Howard Katz again at the Royal National

Film credits include; The Wind and the Lion, A Touch of Class, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, Pascali's Island, Half Moon Street, Son of the Pink Panther and the two Bond Films The Spy Who Loved Me and The Living Daylights. Nadim was also seen playing opposite Sean Connery in Warner Brothers action movie The Avengers, which also starred Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman. He also completed two more feature films Arabian Nights and Cleopatra.

Nadim's television work includes; Mountbatten, Lovejoy, Big Battalions, Blue Heaven, Call Red, Expert Witness, Pirates (Childrens TV), Inspector Morse ‘Daughters of Cain,' The Bill ‘Nice Boy,' and five series of Dangerfield as ‘Dr. Shaaban Hamada'. Other TV credits include; as ‘Joseph Charadi' in Tangier Cop directed by Stephen Whittaker for French Television, an hour long special of The Bill entitled To Catch A Cobra and ‘Mohamed Al Fayed' in the BBC's drama Justice in Wonderland. More recently Nadim played ‘Hussain Rafiq' in Close and True, ‘Feroz Kassam' in Holby City, and ‘Mr Mazood' in New Tricks and as ‘Moses' in the BBC's Religious Drama Documentary Moses and the Exodus.

In 1997 Nadim was both surprised and delighted to be the subject of This is Your Life for BBC1.

For radio his numerous credits include The Scorching Winds, Skeleton, Nasser's Eden, Prize Fighting, Centurions, Tutti Frutti Holy Man, Turks on our Coast, How Many Miles to Basra, The Raj Quartet and most recently Only in London and Snow all for the BBC.

Nadim is part of a theatrical family. His younger brother is one of the creators of The Theatre of Political Satire in the Middle East, where Nadim often works as a director. Two of his daughters, Nadia and Julia, are working actresses in London. Christmas '97 saw Nadim direct his daughter Julia in his production Dearest Daddy, Darling Daughter at the Young Vic, which was a celebration of songs, sketches and anecdotes on the relationships between Fathers and Daughters, which he also produced.

Most recently for television as ‘Golam Yama' in If….Cloning Could Cure Us, for Theatre ‘Kwaja Aziz Mondanabosh' in Homeboby/Kabul at The Old Vic and his own One Man Show All is Want is a British Passport at The Actors Centre. Whilst on film he was ‘Emir Hamed Al-Subaai' in Infinite Justice and ‘King Abdullah' in Syriana.

Nadim got his part in The Nativity Story primarily because he claimed to have ridden camels since he was six years old – what was later discovered is that he hadn't ridden a camel since he was seven! Nadim and actor Alexander Siddig, co-stars in The Nativity Story, have played father and son in three productions.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.

Nadim Sawalha Facts


Selected Filmography

The Living Daylights
The Spy Who Loved Me
Are You Being Served?
The Wind and the Lion
Wind and the Lion
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
The Fantastic Films of Ray Harryhausen
Half Moon Street
House of Cards Episode 1
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