Omar Sharif (April 10, 1932 - July 10, 2015) was an Egyptian actor of Syrian and Lebanese descent.
Born Michel Dimitri Shalhoub in Alexandria to a family of Christiannote Lebanese origins, he came up through the Egyptian film industry of the 1950s before breaking into worldwide cinema playing Sherif Ali in 1962's Lawrence of Arabia. After Lawrence, he is best remembered for Doctor Zhivago and Funny Girl. He continued appearing in both Egyptian and international films until shortly before his death in 2015.
He was fluent in Arabic, English, French, Italian and Spanish, which allowed him to be cast as a wide range of characters of various ethnicities during his 60-year-long career.
He was also a championship-level Bridge player, at one point ranked in the top 50 worldwide. He contributed to a syndicated bridge column, and lent his name to a long-running series of video game versions of the game.
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962): Sherif Ali.
- The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964): Sohamus.
- Genghis Khan (1965): Genghis Khan.
- Doctor Zhivago (1965): Dr. Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago.
- The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1965): Davich.
- The Night of the Generals (1967): Major Grau.
- Funny Girl (1968): Nicky Arnstein.
- Mackenna's Gold (1969): John Colorado.
- The Last Valley (1971): Vogel.
- The Mysterious Island (1973): Captain Nemo.
- Juggernaut (1974): Captain Alex Brunel.
- The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976): Egyptian assassin.
- Oh! Heavenly Dog (1981): Bart.
- Top Secret! (1984): Agent Cedric.
- Gulliver's Travels (1996): The Sorcerer.
- Mysteries of Egypt (1998): Grandfather.
- The 13th Warrior (1999): Melchisideck.
- Hidalgo (2004): Sheikh Riyadh.
- Fake Nationality: Played all sorts of these; including a Russian poet (Doctor Zhivago), an ancient Armenian (The Fall of the Roman Empire), a German Nazi officer (The Night of the Generals), a Jewish-American gangster (Funny Girl), an East Indian (The Mysterious Island), and Genghis Khan himself (Genghis Khan).
- Japandering: The other thing most French people know him from outside of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago? The TV equestrian sports magazine announcements he did in The '80s and The '90s. To be fair, he really did have a "great passion" for said sports, being a good horseman on his own.
- Money, Dear Boy: Sharif liked to gamble and admitted that he sometimes accepted roles just to make up for the money he had lost.