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Omar Sharif Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Apr 10, 1932
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001
  • Birth Name: Michel Shahoub

Born into a wealthy Lebanese-Egyptian family, Omar Sharif was a math and physics major at Cairo's Victory College. He worked briefly in his father's lumber business before pursuing an acting career. Entering movies in 1953 as Omar El-Sharif, the young actor's popularity zoomed when he married popular Egyptian star Faten Hamama (the marriage ended in 1974). Well established in his native country, Sharif made his English-language film debut (with one of the longest and most impressive "delayed entrances" ever filmed) as Sherif Ali Ibn El Karish in David Lean's [[Feature~V28608~Lawrence of Arabia~lawrenceofarabia]] (1962). Sharif's next film for Lean, [[Feature~V14162~Doctor Zhivago~doctorzhivago]] (1965), launched the "superstar" phase of the actor's career. When he was cast as Nicky Arnstein opposite Barbra Streisand's Fanny Brice in [[Feature~V18959~Funny Girl~funnygirl]] (1968), Sharif's films were banned in his native Egypt because he made love to a Jewish woman onscreen. As Sharif's starring career began its slow downward slide in the mid-'70s, he began devoting more and more time to his one great passion in life: bridge. Today Sharif is best known in card-playing circles as that famous bridge expert who happens to show up in movies from time to time. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi