Who is Omar Sharif? What films did the actor appear in? Plus everything else you need to know…

Google is leading the tributes to the screen icon on what would have been his 86th birthday

(Source: Getty Images)

Egyptian actor Omar Sharif has been honoured by Google on what would have been his 86th birthday. An illustrated portrait of the actor features on the Google home page as the latest of their Google Doodle tributes celebrating the decorated actor who died in July 2015 of a heart attack.

Advertisement

Sharif was born in Alexandria, Egypt, where he began an acting career that would lead to an Academy Award nomination and three Golden Globe awards.

He rose to prominence in his native Egypt with early roles in films like 1954’s The Blazing Sun and quickly became a star within Egyptian cinema.

His first English language role came in the David Lean directed Lawrence of Arabia in which he played Sheriff Ali. He would go on to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the historical epic.

Sharif was also ranked amongst the world’s top 50 contract bridge players. He would spend time in casinos around the world and went on to author numerous books on the card game.

In honour of the actor’s birthday here are five of his most famous roles.

Lawrence of Arabia (1992)

No list of Omar Sharif’s work would be complete without his role in David Lean’s historical epic. Sharif played the fictional Sherif Ali in his English language debut.

The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

Despite being a financial failure, The Fall of the Roman Empire was  critically acclaimed and currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Sharif played the role of Sohaemus, King of Armenia, in the Hollywood blockbuster.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Sharif would reunite with David Lean for this multi-Oscar winning epic romance that sealed his reputation as a screen icon. He played the role of Doctor Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago, half-brother to Alec Guinness, searching for his daughter in pre-war Russia.

Funny Girl (1968)

Branching out from his more dramatic work, Sharif went on to star in the acclaimed comedy-musical Funny Girl alongside Barbra Streisand. He played husband to Streisand’s Fanny Brice who would go on to win Best Actress at the Academy Awards.

Advertisement

The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)

Sharif cameoed as the Egyptian Assassin in the first sequel in the Peter Sellars comedy crime franchise. The role saw Sharif attempting to track down Sellars’ bumbling French detective Clouseau before being seduced by a Russian operative played by Lesley Anne-Down.