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Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif


Michel Dimitri Shalhoub, known as Omar Sharif (Arabic: عمر الشريف), also spelled Omar El-Sherif, born April 10, 1932 in Alexandria and died July 10, 2015 in Cairo, is an Egyptian actor. The son of a precious wood merchant, he grew up in a united Christian family with his parents and his sister. Enrolled at Victoria College, a prestigious British school in Alexandria, the teenager studied science, and foreign languages, and would later discover theater classes. A brilliant student, he continued his studies at Cairo University where he obtained his diploma in mathematics and physics. Caught up in his taste for acting, he was spotted at 21 by director Youssef Chahine who offered him a leading role in Struggle in the Valley (1954). The success was immediate, thanks to this role, the young leading man walked the red carpet of the Croisette at the Cannes Film Festival the same year. He became a star of Egyptian cinema then in full expansion, and collaborated again with Youssef Chahine (The Devil of the Desert, Black Waters). In 1962, he took on the role of Prince Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia under the direction of David Lean. This film, the first outside Egypt for the actor, marks the beginning of a long friendship with Peter O'Toole and a turning point in Omar Sharif's career. He won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and decided to leave his native country for Hollywood. In 1955, Omar Sharif married the Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, whom he met on the set of Struggle in the Valley, and for whom he converted to Islam. Their son Tarek was born in 1957. The couple separated when the actor decided to pursue his career in Hollywood. Their divorce was finalized a few years later in 1974. The actor, a polyglot, then began an international career. David Lean offered him a new emblematic role with Doctor Zhivago (1965) in which he played opposite Geraldine Chaplin. His filmography includes more than a hundred films. The actor nevertheless had a more unhappy period on the big screen with some commercial failures (And Came the Day of Vengeance, The Rendezvous, The Horsemen). He returned to success in the 2000s with Monsieur Ibrahim and The Flowers of the Koran by François Dupeyron for which he was awarded the César for Best Actor in 2004. The same year, he starred in Hidalgo by Joe Johnston. Rarer on film sets, in 2009 he accepted the role of a painter suffering from Alzheimer's disease in I Forgot to Tell You alongside Emilie Dequenne. He appeared in his last film, Rock the Casbah by Laïla Marrakchi, in 2012. In May 2015, his son, Tarek El-Sharif, announced in an interview that Omar Sharif had Alzheimer's disease. He died on July 10, 2015 following a heart attack. His funeral took place on July 12, 2015 in a mosque in Cairo and he was buried at the Sayyeda Nefisa cemetery in the south of the city.

  • 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