Omar Sharif Has Died of a Heart Attack at Age 83 in a Hospital in Cairo. This past May, it was announced that the world-famous Sharif (Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia) was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Sharif is probably the first globally recognized Arab actor. His stardom was borne out of incredibly skillful performances in the 1960s, most notably Behold a Pale Horse, The Yellow Rolls Royce, and Dr. Zhivago.
According to Variety,
Other significant late-’60s films for the actor included J. Lee Thompson Western “MacKenna’s Gold,” with Gregory Peck and Telly Savalas, and tragic European political love story “Mayerling,” in which Sharif was paired with Catherine Deneuve.
And more recently, in the aughts,
In 2003 Sharif won acclaim for his role in Francois Dupeyron’s “Monsieur Ibrahim” as a Turkish Muslim shop owner who becomes an avuncular figure for a Jewish boy in Paris. Although the role was perceived as representing something of a career resurgence for the actor, he had in fact been working regularly over the previous decades in film and TV and continued to do so after “Ibrahim.”
And something I’ve never known about him until this morning,
The actor was famously a world-class bridge player.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say. He was a very good actor, and I’ve seen far too little of his work. I do remember him, though. I have memories in my childhood of his face, voice, and performance in Lawrence of Arabia. He’s lived a long, full life, and contributed wonderful performances to the world of film, art, dreams. Rest in peace.