Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who became an international star in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, has died at age 83. Sharif was born to Syrian and Lebanese parents in Egypt in 1932. He grew up Roman Catholic and earned a college degree in mathematics and physics before entering his family’s lumber business. He starred in numerous Egyptian films in the 50’s and starred alongside the Egyptian actress Faten Hamama in ‘The Blazing Sun’ in 1953. He converted to Islam to marry Hamama two years later. The couple had one son, Tarek Sharif, and divorced in 1974. Sharif appeared in 118 TV and movie roles over his decades-long career. ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, his first English-language film, made him an international star in 1962, earning him an Oscar nod for his role as Sherif Ali opposite Peter O’Toole. He won a Golden Globe for his role in ‘Doctor Zhivago’ in 1965. Three years later, Sharif played the husband of Barbara Streisand’s character in ‘Funny Girl’, and their off-screen romance heightened tensions following the Egyptian-Israeli Six Day War. His last acting credit is as the narrator of the short film ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’, which is in post-production. Before that, he appeared in the French film ‘Rock the Casbah’ in 2013. Shairf also became well-known as a bridge player, writing a syndicated column on the subject for the Chicago Tribune in the 70’s and penning two books in the 80’s. Here is a video by TCM channel honoring this great actor.

Source: TurnerClassicMovies

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