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Omar Sharif: Celebrating 86th Birthday

He gained international fame for his role in Lawrence of Arabia.


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  • He was one of the world’s best-known contract bridge player at that time. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Michel Demitri Shalhoub known as Omar Sharif was Egyptian actor who made his mark in the world of cinema with movies like Lawrence of Arabia (1962), DR. Zhivago (1965) and Funny Girl. Google Doodle is celebrating his 86th birth anniversary.

He gained international fame for his role in Lawrence of Arabia and was also nominated for the best supporting role in the academy awards for the same role.

Shalhoub belonged to a well-off family, his father was a timber merchant and lived in the wealthy area in Cairo. Omar went to an English boarding school and there he discovered his love for acting.

He was graduated with Maths and Physics degree from Cairo University and spent five years in the family business but his real passion was in acting. He soon joined RADA to study drama in London and got a role in an Arabic film called 'The Blazing Sun'. This film played an important role in his personal and professional life. With this movie not only he got his first major role in the movie but he also met the love of his life, a renowned Egyptian actress Faten Hamama his co-star in the movie.  

To marry Faten Hamama he was converted to Islam and changed his name to Omar El Sharif. He did as many as 32 Arabic movies and few French movies after the marriage. He played some of the most renowned characters in the cinema world, Lawrence of Arabia and DR. Zhivago.

He was one of the world’s best-known contract bridge player at that time. He even co-wrote the bridge columns for the Chicago Tribune newspaper and wrote several books on bridge and has a computer game on his name “Omar Sharif Bridge”.

He could never hold on to the fame he got by doing films that made him famous all over the world. He blew his career by gambling and living a spoilt life of party and spending money whatever he could.

He made his comeback in films in the later stages in his life, in 2003 he played the lead role in the French film 'Monsieur Ibrahim'. His performance in the movie was appreciated by the cinema critics and the role won him the best actor awards at the Venice film festival and Best Actor Cesar in France from the Academie des arts et techniques du cinema.

Omar Sharif died on July 10, 2015, in Cairo, Egypt. He will always be remembered for his role in Lawrence of Arabia and DR. Zhigavo. People all over the world will never forget such a brilliant actor who had his own charm and charisma.

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