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Nadim Sawalha (Arabic: نديم صوالحة‎) (born c.  9 September 1935) is a Jordanian-born British actor and father of actresses Julia and Nadia Sawalha.

Nadim Sawalha
Bornc.  9 September 1935
Years active1964–2015
Roberta Lane (m. 1961)
Children3, including Nadia and Julia Sawalha
RelativesNabil Sawalha (brother)


Sawalha was born in Madaba, Jordan, in 1935[1] and moved to Britain in the 1950s, to study drama.[2] His daughter Julia revealed on her episode of Who Do You Think You Are? that even he is uncertain of his birth date, but it is thought to be around 7 to 9 September.[3]

Acting careerEdit

Nadim Sawalha has made over 100 appearances in film and television, in a career spanning more than 40 years.

Personal lifeEdit

Sawalha is married to Roberta Lane, and has three daughters, Julia, Nadia and Dina. His brother is comedian Nabil Sawalha.

Television rolesEdit

(list not exhaustive)

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Space: 1999 Zoran Episode: The Immunity Syndrome
The Sweeney Captain Shebbeq Episode: Visiting Fireman
Survivors Amul Episodes: Lights of London parts 1 & 2
1977 The Professionals Sheikh Achmeia Episode: Long Shot
1979 The Knowledge Arab Man
Minder Sardi Episode: A Tethered Goat in Series 1
1981 Juliet Bravo Mr. Hamid Episode: The Third Man
1981 to 1982 Sorry, I'm A Stranger Here Myself Mumtaz
1984 Bergerac Zaki Mansoor Episode: A Touch Of Eastern Promise Season 3 Ep.6
1985 Open All Hours Mr.Gupta Episode: Horse-Trading
1990 House of Cards Bank Manager Episode 1
1993-2006 The Bill Multiple Episode: Part of the Family (1993) Mr. Said

Episode: Nice Boy (1996) Hussein Bakri
Episode: To Catch a Cobra (1999) Amit Roy
Episode: On the Wagon (2000) Viviek Gupta
Episode: 461: Go For Gold (2006) Rafi Nadir

1995 Dangerfield Dr. Shaaban Hamada
2000 Arabian Nights Judge Zadic
2002 The Last Cavalier
2003 Lawrence of Arabia: The Battle for the Arab World Narrator PBS
2007 Diana: Last Days of a Princess Mohammed Al-Fayed docudrama
2007 Robin Hood Bassam Episode: We Are Robin Hood
2008 House of Saddam King Hussein
2011 The Hour Naguib Hafiz Episode #1.2

Film rolesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1973 Yellow Dog An Arab pilot
A Touch of Class Night Hotel Manager
1974 Callan Padilla
Gold A member of the Syndicate
Vampira An airline representative
1975 The Wind and the Lion The Sherif of Wazan
The Return of the Pink Panther Museum guide
1977 Are You Being Served? The Emir's Interpreter
Sweeney! Chairman of the Oil Producers' Conference
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger Hassan
The Spy Who Loved Me Aziz Fekkesh
1980 The Awakening Dr El Sadek
1985 Young Sherlock Holmes Egyptian tavern owner
1987 The Living Daylights Tangier police chief
2005 Syriana Emir Hamad Al-Subaai
2006 The Nativity Story Melchior
2007 Whatever Lola Wants Adham
2008 Captain Abu Raed Abu Raed
2010 West Is West Pir Naseem
2015 The Rendezvous
2018 Tel Aviv on Fire Bassem

Other rolesEdit

  • He played the part of Omar Badri in BBC's 'CDX' computer game.
  • In the 2018 BBC Radio 4 miniseries A Tale of Two Cities: Aleppo and London, he played the role of "Dr. Mahmoud".[4]


  1. ^ "The Arab Talks To....Nadim Sawalha". Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  2. ^ Participant: Julia Sawalha (2006-10-25). "Episode page on BBC website". Who Do You Think You Are?. Series 3. London, England. Event occurs at 1:10. BBC. BBC One.
  3. ^ Who Do You Think You Are?; Event occurs at 22:00
  4. ^

External linksEdit