Image of Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif, the Franco-Arabic actor best known for playing Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and the title role in Doctor Zhivago (1965), was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub on April 10, 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt to Joseph Shalhoub, a lumber merchant, and his wife, Claire. Of Lebanese and Syrian extraction, the young Michel was raised a Roman Catholic. He was educated at Victoria College in Alexandria and took a degree in mathematics and physics from Cairo University with a major. Afterward graduating from university, he entered the family lumber business. Before making his English-language film debut with "Lawrence of Arabia", for which he earned him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination and international fame, Sharif became a star in Egyptian cinema. His first movie was the Egyptian film Siraa Fil-Wadi (1954) ("The Blazing Sun") in 1953, opposite the renowned Egyptian actress Faten Hamama whom he married in 1955. He converted to Islam to marry Hamama and took the name Omar al-Sharif. The couple had one child (Tarek Sharif, who was born in 1957 and portrayed the young Zhivago in the eponymous picture) and divorced in 1974. Sharif never remarried. Beginning in the 1960s, Sharif earned a reputation as one of the world's best known contract bridge players. In the 1970s and '80s, he co-wrote a syndicated newspaper bridge column for the Chicago Tribune. Sharif also wrote several books on bridge and has licensed his name to a bridge computer game, "Omar Sharif Bridge", which has been marketed since 1992. Sharif told the press in 2006 that he no longer played bridge, explaining, "I decided I didn't want to be a slave to any passion any more except for my work. I had too many passions, bridge, horses, gambling. I want to live a different kind of life, be with my family more because I didn't give them enough time." As an actor, Sharif had made a comeback in 2003 playing the title role of an elderly Muslim shopkeeper in the French film Monsieur Ibrahim (2003). For his performance, he won the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival and the Best Actor César, France's equivalent of the Oscar, from the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma.

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Apr 10, 1932 In Alexandria, Egypt
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the series Building the Great Pyramid
Latest Project:
Series Молодая гвардия 2015-05-01
Known For
Poster of Hidalgo
Poster of Mysteries of Egypt
Poster of Bloodline
Poster of Genghis Khan
Series Building the Great Pyramid Unknown 2020
Series Молодая гвардия Uraz 2015-05-01
Series The Smoke Jethro 2014-02-20
Movie Rock the Casbah Moulay Hassan 2013-09-11
Series Thunder Cats Captain Nemo 2011-07-29
Movie J'ai oublié de te dire Jaume 2010-03-12
Movie La traversée du désir 2009-03-16
Movie The Last Templar Konstantine 2009-01-01
Movie 10,000 BC Narrator (voice) 2008-02-22
Movie Hasan and Murqus مرقص عبدالشهيد/حسن سيف الدين 2008-07-03
Movie Fire at My Heart Principe Nicola 2006-01-01
Series The Ten Commandments Jethro 2006-04-10
Movie One Night with the King Prince Memucan 2006-10-13
Movie Shaka Zulu: The Last Great Warrior The King 2005-05-03
Series Bones Melchisidek 2005-09-13
Movie St. Peter Saint Peter 2005-10-24
Series Hos Martin Hans Canon 2004-01-06
Movie Hidalgo Sheikh Riyadh 2004-03-05
Movie The Making of 'Lawrence of Arabia' himself 2003-09-22
Movie Monsieur Ibrahim Monsieur Ibrahim 2003-09-17
Series Monk Unknown 2002-07-12
Movie The Parole Officer Victor 2001-08-10
Movie Going Public 2000-01-01
Movie Mysteries of Egypt Grandfather 1998-01-01
Movie Heaven Before I Die Khalil Gibran 1997-01-01
Movie Gulliver's Travels Sorcerer 1996-02-04
Movie Catherine the Great Razumovsky 1996-04-27
Movie Umm Kulthum Narrator 1996-10-09
Movie Lie Down with Lions Safar Khan 1994-06-12
Series Soccer Fever Abel Zacharia 1994-04-04
Movie Mother Hagop 1992-01-14
Movie Beyond Justice Emir Beni-Zair 1992-12-02
Movie Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris Marquis Hippolite 1992-12-27
Movie Memories of Midnight Constantin Demiris 1991-11-30
Movie Mother Hagop 1991-11-27
Movie The Rainbow Thief Dima 1990-09-01
Movie Keys to Freedom Jonathan 1988-01-01
Movie The Possessed Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky 1988-02-24
Series Peter the Great Prince Feodor Romodanovsky 1986-02-02
Movie Peter the Great Prince Feodor Romodanovsky 1986-02-02
Series Harem Sultan Hassan 1986-02-09
Movie Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna Czar Nicholas II 1986-12-07
Movie Harem Sultan Hassan 1986-02-09
Movie Top Secret! Agent Cedric 1984-06-08
Movie The Far Pavilions Koda Dad 1984-04-21
Series Wogan Unknown 1982-05-04
Movie Green Ice Meno Argenti 1981-05-01
Movie S+H+E: Security Hazards Expert Baron Cesare Magnasco 1980-02-23
Movie Oh Heavenly Dog Bart 1980-07-11
Movie The Baltimore Bullet The Deacon 1980-03-31
Movie Bloodline Ivo Palazzi 1979-01-01
Movie Ashanti Prince Hassan 1979-03-09
Movie Crime and Passion Andre Ferren 1976-02-06
Movie Funny Lady Nicky Arnstein 1975-03-15
Movie Juggernaut Captain Alex Brunel 1974-09-25
Movie The Tamarind Seed Feodor Sverdlov 1974-07-11
Movie Le droit d'aimer 1972-08-15
Movie The Last Valley Vogel 1971-01-28
Movie Mackenna's Gold Colorado 1969-03-18
Movie The Appointment Federico Fendi 1969-05-22
Movie Che! Che Guevara 1969-06-27
Movie Frosty the Snowman 1969-12-07
Movie Funny Girl Nick Arnstein 1968-09-19
Movie Mayerling Archduke Rudolf 1968-01-01
Movie The Night of the Generals Major Grau 1967-01-29
Movie More Than a Miracle Prince Rodrigo Fernandez 1967-10-19
Movie Poppies Are Also Flowers Dr. Rad 1966-10-16
Movie Genghis Khan Temujin alias Genghis Khan 1965-04-15
Movie Marco the Magnificent Sheik Alla Hou 1965-08-06
Movie Doctor Zhivago Dr. Yuri Zhivago 1965-12-22
Movie The Fall of the Roman Empire Sohamus 1964-03-24
Movie The Yellow Rolls-Royce Davich 1964-12-31
Movie Behold a Pale Horse Francisco 1964-08-14
Movie The Beginning and the End 1961-01-02
Movie There Is a Man in Our House Ibrahim 1961-01-09
Movie The River of Love Khalid 1960-01-02
Movie Ishayat hub Hussien 1960-11-20
Movie Rendezvous with a Stranger Magdi 1959-01-01
Movie Struggle on the Nile Muhassab 1959-10-18
Series The Veil Unknown 1958-01-01
Movie Sleepless Aziz 1957-10-31
Movie Lady of the Castle Adel 1956-11-17
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1955-07-29
Series Cheyenne Sherif Ali 1955-09-20
Movie Struggle in the Valley Ahmed 1954-03-01
Series The Academy Awards Unknown 1953-03-18