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Crowning achievement

Salim Dau to play Mohamed Al-Fayed in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

Israel-born actor says playing Egyptian-born owner of Harrods, the father of Princess Diana’s partner Dodi, is ‘the most wonderful gift an actor can dream of’

Salim Dau in the movie 'Oslo' (Screen grab/HBO)
Salim Dau in the movie 'Oslo' (Screen grab/HBO)

Israel-born actor Salim Dau will play Mohamed Al-Fayed, the billionaire father of Princess Diana’s doomed boyfriend Dodi, in the upcoming season of “The Crown,” it was reported Friday.

“It’s huge, it’s the most wonderful gift an actor can dream of — it’s the biggest role of my career,” Dau told the Ynet news site in the wake of the reports of his casting in the Netflix show.

Dau, who sometimes goes by Salim Daw, was born in Israel but according to Ynet, defines himself as Palestinian.

Prior to his upcoming portrayal of the extravagant Egyptian-born owner of London’s Harrods department store, Dau was known for his turns in shows such as “Fauda,” “The Bureau” and “Tyrant,” as well as films such as “Oslo.”

The announcement of the casting, first reported by Variety, shows that the relationship between the department store heir and Diana, will be portrayed in the next season of the hit from the streaming giant.

Producers have refused to comment whether the crash that killed Dodi al-Fayed and Diana in 1997 will be depicted. Mohammed Al-Fayed has long maintained that the crash was the result of a conspiracy.

Fulham’s chairman Mohamed Al Fayed arrives at the stadium to watch their English Premier League soccer match against Wigan Atheletic at Craven Cottage, London, Jan. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Dodi al-Fayed will be played by British actor Khalid Abdalla, while the princess will be played by Australian star Elizabeth Debicki.

The fourth season of the wildly popular British royal series, which depicted the ill-fated marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, swept the Emmy awards earlier this week.

In this file photo dated Nov. 20, 2020, a man walks past a billboard advertising ‘The Crown’ television series about Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family in London (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FILE)

Its tally including technical awards handed out before Sunday’s ceremony came to 11.

Earlier this year, Emma Corrin won a Golden Globe for her performance as Princess Diana. She will be replaced by Debicki in the next season, who will play an older version of the princess.

AFP contributed to this report.

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