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El Hedi ben Salem
Born Morocco
Died 1982
Nîmes, France

El Hedi ben Salem (El Hedi ben Salem m'Barek Mohammed Mustafa) (c1935[1] – 1982), was a Moroccan actor best known for his work with German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder.



El Hedi ben Salem was the lover of Rainer Werner Fassbinder from 1971 to 1974, though he also had a wife and two children in Morocco. During this period, he played several roles in Fassbinder's films. He is best known for his role of Ali in Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. After seriously injuring three people by stabbing, he was deported to France, where he killed himself in prison. Fassbinder dedicated his last film Querelle to him.


  • 1972 The Merchant of Four Seasons
  • 1973 Jail Bait
  • 1973 Tenderness of Wolves
  • 1973 Welt am Draht
  • 1974 Martha
  • 1974 Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
  • 1975 Fox and His Friends


  1. ^ Juliane Lorenz interview in Lorenz (ed) Chaos as Usual: Conversations about Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1997, Applause, p241

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