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Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif


Omar Sharif (born Michel Yusef Dimitri Chalhoub; April 10, 1932 – July 10, 2015) was an Egyptian actor, generally regarded as one of his country's greatest male film stars. He began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in British, American, French, and Italian productions. His career encompassed over 100 films spanning 50 years and brought him many accolades including three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award for Best Actor. In 1954, Sharif began his acting career in Youssef Chahine's Struggle in the Valley with Faten Hamama, who shared a kiss with him although she had previously refused to kiss on screen. The two fell in love; Sharif converted to Islam, changed his name, and married her. Their marriage sparked a new iconic era in Egyptian cinema, as they came to represent the industry’s dream couple for years, starring in many romantic roles together. They had one son, Tarek Sharif, born in 1957, who appeared in Doctor Zhivago as Yuri at the age of eight. The couple separated in 1966 and their marriage ended in divorce in 1974. Sharif never remarried; he stated that after his divorce he never fell in love with another woman again. Sharif played opposite Peter O'Toole as Sherif Ali in the David Lean epic Lawrence of Arabia (1962), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and portrayed the title role in Lean's Doctor Zhivago (1965), earning him the Golden Globe for Best Actor. He continued to play romantic leads, in films like Funny Girl (1968) and The Tamarind Seed (1974), and historical figures like the eponymous characters in Genghis Khan (1965) and Che! (1969). His acting career continued well into old age, with a well-received turn as a Muslim Turkish immigrant in the French film Monsieur Ibrahim (2003). He made his final film appearance in 2013 with Laïla Marrakchi's Rock the Casbah. Sharif spoke five languages: Arabic, English, French, Italian, and Spanish. He bridled at travel restrictions imposed by the government of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, leading to self-exile in Europe. He was the recipient of high civil honors from multiple countries, including the Egyptian Order of Merit and the French Legion of Honour. He was one of only 25 grantees of UNESCO's Sergei Eisenstein Medal, in recognition of his significant contributions to world film and cultural diversity. On July 10, 2015, less than six months after his former wife's death at the same age, Sharif died after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in Cairo. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease in his final years.

  • Known For: Acting
  • Birthday: 1932-04-10
  • Place of Birth: Alexandria, Egypt
  • Also Known As: Омар Шариф, Michel Dimitri Chalhoub, عمر الشريف, Omar El Sherif

Movies List of Omar Sharif