Aida Takla-O’Reilly Dies: Former Two-Time HFPA President Was Its Longest-Serving Member

Aida Takla-O’Reilly, Egyptian journalist who was president Hollywood Foreign Press Association Twice and was its longest-serving member, died Sunday in Los Angeles. HFPA His age or cause of death was not disclosed.

Takla-O’Reilly joined the group behind the Golden Globes in 1956 and was elected as its president in 1994. She will serve a two-year term in office from 2011-13. She covered the entertainment industry for an Egyptian magazine Nisf Al Duniya and dailies Al Ahram.

“She was a great listener, never judged, and always fought for the downtrodden,” said HFPA President Helen Hohen, when she applied to join the organization and joined them. maintained a special bond. “She was fearless and inspired others to be fearless and be leaders. She had a deep and deep loyalty to her friends and the people she loved.”

Born in Cairo, she became Egypt’s youngest female commercial pilot at age 16 and earned a master’s degree at UCLA and a doctorate from the Sorbonne University in Paris. Takla-O’Reilly was chair of the Department of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles from 1976–79 and again from 1989–98. During his CSULA tenure, he taught and developed courses in literature, journalism and film studies.

She received the Woman of Vision in Film Award in 2001.

In 2018, Takla-O’Reilly wrote a controversial celebrity profile for Egypt Air’s in-flight magazine about the time—Santa Clarita Diet Star Drew Barrymore. Along with grammatical and factual mistakes, the article went viral due to its unintentional humor and style that seemed lost in translation. Takla-O’Reilly defended the story in a series of tweetsAnd the HFPA said a few days later: “Based on our preliminary investigation, we understand that some parts of the article in question were not written by Dr. Takla-O’Reilly and that other parts of the article may have come from other sources.”

Takla-O’Reilly said in a 2014 interview that she considers herself “lucky” to have met and to have met Laurence Olivier, Cecil B. DeMille, Rock Hudson and Agnes Moorhead. “I’ve been very fortunate and privileged,” she told interviewer John Scholz.

“I am indebted to a great deal of gratitude for all of Aida’s support and love over the years — and so much more for her tough-as-nails defense of the HFPA Association, our work, and our members,” Hohne said. “By the end, she was advising and sharing her knowledge for the future of the HFPA.”

Takla-O’Reilly is survived by her daughter, Dominic, and grandchildren Mikaela, Taylor, Ariana, Zachary and Naomi.