He was Oscar-nominated for the role of Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, winning the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
The Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, star of Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, has died today, aged 83.
Later in his career Sharif would go on to star opposte Barbra Streisand in amusing Girl and Julie Andrews in The Tamarind Seed.
Earlier this year, Sharif’s agent confirmed that the actor had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Sharif is survived by his son Tarek, an illegitimate son from whom he was estranged, and two grandchildren.
Omar Sharif was born on April 10, 1932 as Michel Demetri Chalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Melkite Catholic family of Lebanese descent.
“I refused in my life many films because they happened at the same time as an important tournament”, he told the UK’s Guardian.
Although he eased back on acting in the 2000s, Sharif still enjoyed occasional parts and even fills the role of narrator in upcoming animated short movie 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham.
[Image: Omar Shariff in Lawrence of Arabia – fair use / CC by SA 3.0 Georges Biard].
Shortly after news broke of Sharif’s death, Rosie O’Donnell tweeted, “Nicky Arnstein – Nicky Armstein – what a beautiful handsome name …#ThankYou #OmarSharif”, referring to his amusing Girl role.
In 1965, Omar re-teamed with Arabia director David Lean for another epic, Doctor Zhivago, playing the titular Russian physicist and poet.
The 1960s proved to be Mr. Sharif’s best, busiest and most visible decade in Hollywood.
But he massaged in his father’s wooden company for many years before recognizing his wish utilizing a position in an Egyptian screenplay, “The Blazing Sun“, in 1954…
His last completed feature film credits were in 2013.
He co-wrote a syndicated bridge newspaper column in the 1970s and 80s, as well as authoring several books and a bridge computer game, Omar Sharif Bridge.