Her first role in cinema was a tiny part in "Shari Al-Hob" (Love Street), starring Abdel-Halim Hafez. A major role followed in "Malak wa Shaytan" (Angel and Devil). "I was trained vocally for this film and I learned how to act as well." Since then, Fouad has acted in over 100 films and danced in over 250.
Nagwa formed a group of 12 dancers and 35 musicians and singers, one choreographer and one costume designer. "It was a sort of a small-scale mobile theatre, we toured the country and gave performances everywhere."
Fouad was always testing the limits of her art form, always pushing for more spectacular events. One of her best-remembered performances featured a horse named Thunder. The words she uses to describe her shows "renovation, development, glory and distinction" are sufficiently resonant not to seem out of place in a victory speech.
Nagwa Fouad has had to fight for recognition that belly-dancing is worthy of respect. In a world where many entertainers have to put up with the bad name their craft has acquired, she insists on the importance of dance. As she puts it in nice words "you can smell the perfume of the East and experience one of the Thousand and One Nights"
Her four marriages were, perhaps, the inevitable by-products of a life lived at night, of hard work devoted to making it all look easy. But it is her marriage to Sami El-Zoghbi, the manager of the Cairo Sheraton Hotel at the time, that she remembers most fondly, as "the best time of my life".