Omar Sharif an Egyptian born actor who starred in classic pictures such as Doctor Zhivago, Funny Girl and the Oscar winning Lawrence of Arabia as unfortunately died of a heart attack at the age of 83. born Michel Shalhoub on April 10th 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt, Sharif started out in his family’s lumber business before heading out to London to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada).
In 1954 he made his big screen debut in the Egyptian film Siraa Fil-Wadi (The Blazing Sun) and rapidly became a star in his own country as he starred in many films in his homeland. 1955 was the year he went from Michel Shalhoub to Omar Al Sharif, and later shortening it to just Omar Sharif.
After many years of making his name in Egypt Sharif got his big international break when director David Lean cast him as Sheriff Ali in Lawrence of Arabia. Lean introduced the actor with the legendary shot of him riding a camel out of a shimmering heat haze towards the camera. Sharif won 2 Golden Globes and was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the motion picture.
Shariff went on to star in many other flicks such as Genghis Khan where he played the emperor himself, Doctor Shivago which earned him another Golden Globe, Funny Girl, Che, Hidalgo and even as a narrator for 10,000 BC. Shariff’s last film was a french-Moroccan film Rock the Casbah made in 2013.
Shariff is survived by his only son and two grandchildren. He will be missed.