The world of film is in mourning today with the news that Omar Sharif has passed away at the age of 83. The legendary Egyptian actor’s agent confirmed earlier today that Sharif had suffered a heart attack in a Cairo hospital.
Best known for his roles in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, Sharif was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease earlier this year and leaves behind a unique legacy as one of the only Middle Eastern actors to break into, and make in impact on, Hollywood. Having made his film debut in 1954 Egyptian film, The Devil of the Sahara, the most vivid film memory of Sharif is likely to be the famous shot showing him riding out from a shimmering dessert towards camera in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia.
Sharif, born Michel Shalhoub in Alexandria in 1932, went on to win two Golden Globes and one Oscar nomination in a storied career that saw him share screen time with some of the biggest names in the business, including Peter O’Toole, Sophia Loren and Barabara Streisand. Some of his lesser known roles weren’t any less interesting – the versatile actor has even played Che Guevara and Genghis Khan.
By Cairo Gossip