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Omar Sharif (10 April 1932 10 July 2015) was an Egyptian film and television actor. He began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in British, American, French, and Italian productions. His films put in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Funny Girl (1968). He won three Golden Globe Awards and a Csar Award.

Sharif, who spoke Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian fluently, was often cast, in British and American films, as a foreigner of some sort. He bridled at travel restrictions imposed by the supervision of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, leading to self-exile in Europe.

Early life

Sharif, whose adopted surname means “noble” or “nobleman”, was born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub (Arabic: ) in Alexandria, Kingdom of Egypt (now Arab Republic of Egypt), to a Melkite Catholic relatives of Lebanese extraction,[10] making him and his associates members of the Antiochian Greek Christian minority (stage herald Rm).

His dad, Joseph Chalhoub, a pessimistic woods merchant, moved to the harbor city of Alexandria following his mother in the very old 20th century from Zahle in Lebanon. Sharif was far away-off along born in Alexandria. His relatives moved to Cairo subsequent to he was four.

In his teenager, Sharif studied at Victoria College, Alexandria, where he showed a proficiency for languages. He highly developed graduated from Cairo University following a degree in mathematics and physics. He worked for a even if in his dad’s pretentious wood matter by now start his acting career in Egypt.

Acting career

He speedily rose to stardom, appearing in Our Beautiful Days (1955), The Lebanese Mission (1956) (a French film), Struggle in the Pier (1956), Sleepless (1957) (“[La Anam]”), Land of Peace (1957), Goha (1958) (a Tunisian film that marked the debut of Claudia Cardinale), Struggle concerning the Nile (1958), A Beginning and an End (1960), A Rumor of Love (1960), Sayyidat al-Qasr (1960), the Anna Karenina getting used to The River of Love (“Nahr El-Hob”) in 1961 and There is a Man in our House (1961). Sharif and his wife co-starred in several movies as tender leads.

Casting Sharif in what is now considered one of the “most demanding supporting roles in Hollywood history” was both perplexing and dangerous as he was not quite undistinguished at the period outdoor Egypt. However, as historian Steven Charles Caton comments, Lean insisted on the order of the order of using ethnic actors in the setting of viable to make the film valid.

To safe the role, Sharif had to sign a seven-film accord in the midst of Columbia at $50,000 a film.

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Lawrence was a crate office and vital sensation. Sharif’s undertaking earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor Motion Picture, as skillfully as a shared Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year Actor.

Director Fred Zinnemann said he chose Sharif partly regarding the order of the recommendation of David Lean. Sharif was one of many stars in MGM’s The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), playing a Yugoslav wartime patriot; the movie was a hit.

Produced by Irving Allen and directed by Henry Levin for Columbia, the $4.5 million epic was a crate office disappointment. He had a supporting role in a French Marco Polo biopic, Marco the Magnificent (1965), starring Buchholz and Quinn.

Contract bridge career

At the 1964 World Bridge Olympiad he represented the United Arab Republic bridge squad and in 1968 he was playing captain of the Egyptian team in the Olympiad. In 1967 he formed the Omar Sharif Bridge Circus to showcase bridge to the world and invited professional players including members of the Italian Blue team, which won 16 World championship titles, to tour and puff the game via exhibition matches including one watched by the Shah of Iran.

In 1970, Sharif and the circus went to London’s swiftly-known Piccadilly Hotel for an 80-rubber tie in against British experts Jeremy Flint and Jonathan Cansino. The stakes were 1 per dwindling, loud stakes even by today’s standards. The business was to aerate bridge as a copious, daring spectacle and to crack through into television to bring the game within the get your hands on of millions.

The Circus, under the meting out of Mike Ledeen, toured Canada and the U.S. in 197071. Sharif’s team similar as soon as the Dallas Aces for a seven-city tour of Chicago, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, MinneapolisSt. Paul, Dallas, Detroit and Philadelphia. In each city, a team of local experts participated in the exhibition.

The Omar Sharif World Individual Championship held in 1990 offered the largest sum purse ($200,000) in the records of bridge.

He competed in a transnational team (in addition to French, German and Lebanese players) and finished 11th. In 1999 he played in a French senior team at the European Championships in Malta, operate second. In 2000 at Maastricht, he allied Egypt’s senior team, carrying out in ninth place.

Personal life

Sharif lived in Egypt from his birth until he moved to Europe in 1965. He recounted that in 1932, his dad “wasn’t a affluent man”, but “earned quite a bit of child maintenance”. The two fell in exaltation; Sharif converted to Islam, misused his declaration, and married her. The couple at odds in 1966 and their marriage done in divorce in 1974. Sharif never remarried; he acknowledged that after his divorce he never fell in respect once than choice woman furthermore than again.


At the 35th Academy Awards, Omar Sharif was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia but at a loose withdraw to Ed Begley. He won two Golden Globe awards in the same year for his role. In 1966, he won a third Golden Globe rave review for the titular role in the film Doctor Zhivago