Skip to main content
Select Source:

Sharif, Omar 1932- (Omar Cherif, Omar El-Cherif, Omar Shariff)

Sharif, Omar 1932- (Omar Cherif, Omar El-Cherif, Omar Shariff)

PERSONAL

Original name, Michel Demitri Shalhoub; born April 10, 1932, in Alexandria, Egypt; son of Joseph (a lumber merchant) and Claire (maiden name, Saada) Shalhoub; married Faten Hamama (an actress), February 5, 1955 (divorced, 1974); children: Tarek (son). Education: Attended Victoria College, Cairo, Egypt. Religion: Muslim.

Addresses:

Agent—Steve Kenis and Company, 72 Dean St., London W1D 3SG United Kingdom. Manager—Parseghian-Planco, 23 East 22nd St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10016; Untitled Entertainment, 331 North Maple Dr., 3rd Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Career:

Actor and writer. Venice Film Festival, member of jury, 1990. Bridge Circus, team member, 1966. Previously as a sales representative for a family lumber business in Egypt; also bred racehorses and played bridge professionally.

Member:

Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Awards, Honors:

Golden Globe Awards, best supporting actor and most promising male newcomer, Golden Laurel Award, top male supporting performance, Producers Guild of America, and Academy Award nomination, best actor in a supporting role, 1963, all for Lawrence of Arabia; Golden Globe Award, best actor in a drama, Golden Laurel Award, dramatic performance—male, Producers Guild of America, 1966, for Doctor Zhivago; Venice Film Festival Audience Award, best actor, 2003, Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a supporting role—drama, International Press Academy, Cesar Award, best actor, 2004, all for Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran; Career Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival, 2003; Capri Legend Award, Capri, Hollywood, 2003.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

(Film debut) Ahmed, Siraa fil-wadi (also known as The Blazing Sky, The Blazing Sun, The Struggle in the Valley, and Ciel d'enfer), Talhamy, 1954.

Shaytan al-sahra (also known as Desert Devil and Devil of the Desert), 1954.

Ahmed, Ayamna el hilwa (also known as Our Happy Days), 1954.

Mokrir, La chatelaine du Liban (also known as Desert Detour, The Lebanese Mission, and La castellana del Libano), 1956.

Ragab, Siraa fil-mina (also known as Dark Waters and Struggle in the Pier), 1956.

Mokrir, La chatelaine du Liban (also known as La castellana del Libano, Desert Detour, and The Lebanese Mission), 1956.

Aziz, La anam (also known as No Sleep and No Tomorrow), 1956.

Shati el asrar (also known as Hidden Shore and Shore of Mystery), 1957.

Ghaltit habibi (also known as My Lover's Mistake), 1957.

Ahmed, Ard el salam (also known as Land of Peace), 1957.

Min ajl imraa (also known as For the Sake of a Woman), 1958.

(As Omar El-Cherif) Mouid maa el maghoul (also known as A Date with an Unknown and Rendezvous with a Stranger), 1958.

Fediha fil zamalek (also known as Scandal at Zamalek), 1958.

Ghaltet habibi (also known as The Fault of My Love), 1958.

Ehne el talamza (also known as We Students), 1959.

Muhassab, Sera's fil nile (also known as Struggle on the Nile), 1959.

(As Omar Cherif) Title role, Goha, 1959.

Adel, Sayed el kasr (also known as Lady of the Castle), 1959.

Bidaya wa nihaya (also known as The Beginning and the End and Dead among the Living), 1960.

Lowat el hub (also known as Agony of Love), 1960.

Eshaet hub (also known as Love Rumor), 1960.

Khalid, Nahr el hub (also known as River of Love), 1960.

Hubbi el wahid (also known as My Only Love), 1960.

Gharam el asyad (also known as I Love My Boss and I Love My Master), 1960.

Ibrahim, Fi baitina rajul (also known as A Man in Our House), 1961.

Ishayat hub (also known as The Agony of Love and Training for Love), 1961.

Sherif Ali ibn El Kharish, Lawrence of Arabia, Columbia, 1962.

Sohamus, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Paramount, 1964.

Father Francisco, Behold a Pale Horse (also known as Et vint le jour de la vengeance), Columbia, 1964.

Emir Alaou, The Fabulous Adventures of Marco Polo (also known as Marco the Magnificent, La fabuleuse aventure de Marco Polo, Marko Polo, and Le meravigliose avventure di Marco Polo), 1964.

Yuri Zhivago (title role), Doctor Zhivago, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1965.

Himself, Zhivago: Behind the Camera with David Lean (documentary), 1965.

Himself, Pasternak (documentary), 1965.

Title role, Genghis Khan (also known as Dschingis Khan and Dzingis-Kan), 1965.

Davich, The Yellow Rolls Royce, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1965.

Himself, Moscow in Madrid, 1965.

(Uncredited) Himself, The Car That Became a Star, 1965.

El Mamlik (also known as The Mamelukes and The Revolt of the Mamlukes), 1965.

Dr. Rad, Poppies Are Also Flowers (also known as Danger Grows Wild, The Opium Connection, Operation opium, Mohn ist auch eine Blume, and The Poppy Is Also a Flower), 1966.

Major Grau, The Night of the Generals (also known as La nuit des generaux and Tank Force), Columbia, 1967.

Prince Ramon, More Than a Miracle (also known as Cinderella—Italian Style, La belle et le cavalier, and C'era una volta), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1967.

(Uncredited) Lionpower from MGM, 1967.

Nicky Arnstein, Funny Girl, Columbia, 1968.

(Uncredited) Himself, Vienna: The Years Remembered, 1968.

Himself/Nicky Arnstein, This Is Streisand, 1968.

Archduke Rudolph, Mayerling, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1969.

Colorado, MacKenna's Gold, Columbia, 1969.

Federico Fendi, The Appointment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1969.

Che Guevara, Che!, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1969.

(Uncredited) Un turfiste, Trois hommes sur un cheval (also known as Three Men on a Horse), 1969.

The Festival Game, 1970.

Vogel, The Last Valley, Cinerama, 1971.

Uraz, The Horsemen, Columbia, 1971.

Abel Zacharia, Le casse (also known as The Burglars and Gli scassinatori), 1971.

Pierre, Le droit d'aimer (also known as Brainwashed, The Right to Love, and Il diritto d'amare), 1972.

Captain Nemo, The Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo (also known as Jules Verne's "Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo," Jules Verne's "Mysterious Island of Dr. Nemo," La isla misteriosa y el Capitan Nemo, La isla misteriosa, L'isola misteriosa e il Capitano Nemo, and L'ile mysterieuse), Cinerama, 1974.

Feodor Sverdlov, The Tamarind Seed, Avco-Embassy, 1974.

Captain Brunel, Juggernaut (also known as Terror on the Britannic), United Artists, 1974.

Nicky Arnstein, Funny Lady, Columbia, 1975.

Andre Ferren, Crime and Passion (also known as Ace up My Sleeve and Frankensteins SpukschloB), 1976.

(Uncredited) Egyptian assassin, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, United Artists, 1976.

Prince Hassan, Ashanti (also known as Ashanti, Land of No Mercy), 1979.

Ivo Palazzi, Bloodline (also known as Sidney Sheldon's "Bloodline" and Blutspur), 1979.

Malcolm Bart, Oh, Heavenly Dog, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1980.

The deacon, The Baltimore Bullet, Avco-Embassy, 1980.

Baron Cesare Magnasco, S+H+E: Security Hazards Expert, 1980.

Meno Argenti, Green Ice, 1981.

Narrator, Return to Eden, 1982.

Inchon, 1982.

Title role, Ayoub, 1983.

Patience, 1983.

Agent Cedric, Top Secret!, Paramount, 1984.

Alex, Paradise Calling (also known as The Novice and Les pyramides bleues), 1987.

La Martingale, 1987.

Rashid Saud, Grand Larceny, 1987.

Stepan Verkhovensky, Les possedes (also known as The Possessed), 1988.

Jonathan, Keys to Freedom (also known as Death Dealers), 1988.

Mohamed Gad El Kareem, al-Aragoz (also known as The Puppeteer), 1989.

(Uncredited) Arab chief in Cairo, Mountains of the Moon, 1990.

Rico, Viaggio d'amore (also known as Journey of Love), 1990.

Dima, The Rainbow Thief, 1990.

Al-moaten al myssri (also known as War in the Land of Egypt), 1991.

Hagop, Mayrig (also known as Mother), 1991.

Mohamed Gad El Kareem, Al-aragoz (also known as The Puppeteer), 1991.

The Castle, 1991.

Hagop, 588 rue paradis (also known as Mother), 1992.

Tsai Mang Hua, Tengoku no taizai (also known as Heavenly Sin), 1992.

Emir, Beyond Justice (also known as Desert Law), 1992.

Dehk, we leab we gad we hob (also known as Laughter, Games, Seriousness and Love), 1993.

Narrator, Umm kulthum (documentary; also known as Umm kulthum: A Voice Like Egypt), 1996.

Himself, LebanonImprisoned Splendour (documentary), 1996.

Khalil Gibran, Heaven Before I Die, 1997.

Grandfather, Mysteries of Egypt (also known as Egypt), Destination Cinema, 1998.

Melchisidek, The Thirteenth Warrior (also known as The 13th Warrior), Buena Vista, 1999.

Himself, The Making of "Lawrence of Arabia," 2000.

Return of the Thief of Baghdad, 2001.

Censor, 2001.

Victor, The Parole Officer, MCA/Universal, 2001.

Monsieur Ibrahim, Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran (also known as Monsieur Ibrahim and Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran), Sony Pictures Classics, 2003.

Himself, The Making of "Lawrence of Arabia," 2003.

Sheikh Riyadh, Hildago (also known as Dash), Buena Vista, 2004.

Guest, Benji: Off the Leash!, Mulberry Square Releasing, 2004.

(Uncredited) Sherif Ali, Cineastes contra magnats, 2005.

Prince Nicola, Fuoco su di me (also known as Fire at My Heart), Istituto Luce, 2006.

Prince Memucan, One Night with the King, Rocky Mountain Pictures, 2006.

10,000 B.C., Warner Bros., 2008.

Film Work:

Coproducer, La tutfi el shams (also known as The Sun Will Never Set), 1962.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Le capitaine Nemo, L'lle mysterieuse, 1973.

Koda Dad, The Far Pavilions (also known as Blade of Steel), HBO, 1984.

Prince Feodor Romodanovsky, Peter the Great, NBC, 1986.

Czar Nicholas II, Anastasia: The Story of Anna (also known as Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna), NBC, 1986.

Emir Beni-Zair, Il principe del deserto (also known as Desert Law, Maktub la legge del deserto, and The Law of the Desert), 1989.

Constantin "Costa" Damiros, Memories of Midnight (also known as Sidney Sheldon's "Mysteries of Midnight"), CBS, 1991.

Hagop, Mayrig (also known as Mother), 1993.

The sorcerer, Gulliver's Travels, NBC, 1996.

Shaka Zulu: The Citadel, syndicated, 2001.

Jethro, The Ten Commandments, ABC, 2006.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Louie Lefevre, Pleasure Palace, 1980.

Baron Cesare Magnasco, S*H*E, 1980.

Alex Joski, La Martingale (also known as Machen sie ihr spiel), 1983.

Edge of the Wind, 1985.

Vicious Circle, 1985.

Sultan Hassan, Harem, ABC, 1987.

Rashid Saud, Grand Larceny, syndicated, 1989.

Michelangelo and Me, 1989.

Quatro Piccole Donne (also known as Piccole donne oggi), 1989.

Le consul d'Aninot, Le roi de Patagonie (also known as Moi, Antoine de Tounens, roi de Patagonie), 1990.

Marquis Hippolite DeChassange, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (also known as Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris), CBS, 1992.

Safar Khan, Lie Down with Lions (also known as Red Eagle), Lifetime, 1994.

Razumovsky, Katharine die Grosse (also known as Catherine the Great), 1995.

San Pietro, San Pietro (also known as St. Peter), 2005.

Hans Canon, Kronprinz Rudolf (also known as Kronprinz Rudolfs letzte Liebe), 2006.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Presenter, The 39th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1967.

Sophia: A Self-Portrait, 1968.

Gala 71, 1971.

Nick Arnstein, Funny Girl to Funny Lady, 1975.

Host, Mysteries of the Great Pyramid, 1977.

Margret Dunser, auf der Suche nach den Besonderen, 1981.

Bob Hope's Royal Command Performance from Sweden, 1986.

Presenter, Play Bridge with Omar Sharif, 1987.

Host, Mysteries of the PyramidsLive! Fox, 1988.

A Salute to David Lean (also known as The 18th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to David Lean and The American Film Institute Salute to David Lean), 1990.

David Lean: A Life in Film, Arts and Entertainment, 1991.

Host, "Doctor Zhivago": The Making of a Russian Epic, PBS, 1995.

Narrator, Cleopatra's Palace: In Search of a Legend, Discovery Channel, 1999.

75 Years of the Academy Awards: An Unofficial History, BBC, 2003.

Voice of Nakht, Building the Great Pyramid (also known as Lander—Menschen—Abenteur—Die Pyramide: Ein Weltwunder entsteht and Die Pyramide—Ein Weltwunder entsteht), 2003.

The 100 Greatest Musicals, Channel 4, 2003.

Hollywood Legenden, 2004.

Narrator, The Search for Eternal Egypt, 2005.

Dr. Yuri Zhivago, Geraldine en Espana, 2006.

In the Tracks of Maurice Jarre, 2007.

Also appeared in Omar Sharif Returns to Egypt.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Cinepanorama, 1963.

"Fade-In," Bracken's World, 1969.

V.I.P.-Schaukel, 1974.

Aspel & Company, 1986.

The Mind of David Berglas, 1986.

Champlin on Film, Bravo, 1989.

"Omar Sharif," This Is Your Life, 1989.

Guest, Parabens, 1993.

Querida Concha, 1993.

Encantada de la vida, 1993.

_Que apostamos?, 1995.

"Cairo," Clive James' Postcards, PBS, 1995.

Group rapper, Moesha, UPN, 1996.

Legends, 2000.

Tout le monde en parle, 2003.

The taxi driver, "Temoin a charge/Was der Zeuge sah," Petits mythes urbains (also known as GroBstadt Schocker, Les mythes urbains, and Urban Myth Chillers), 2003.

The taxi driver, "Der Ring," Petits mythes urbains (also known as GroBstadt Schocker, Les mythes urbains, and Urban Myth Chillers), 2003.

The taxi driver, "Mort ou vif/Tot oder lebendig," Petits mythes urbains (also known as GroBstadt Schocker, Les mythes urbains, and Urban Myth Chillers), 2003.

The taxi driver, "Der laufsteg," Petits mythes urbains (also known as GroBstadt Schocker, Les mythes urbains, and Urban Myth Chillers), 2003.

La nuit des Cesars, 2004.

Himself, On ne peut pas plaire a tout le monde (also known as O.N.P.P., ONPP vu de la loge, ONPP vu de la plage, ONPP vu du bocal, and ONPP vu de desert), 2004.

Comme au cinema (also known as Comme au cinema: l'emission and Comme au cinema: le magazine), 2004.

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, BBC, 2004.

Himself, Ombre et lumiere, 2004.

Himself, Double je, 2004.

Himself, La methode cauet, 2005.

Tavis Smiley, PBS, 2005.

Magacine, 2005.

Corazon de …, 2006.

Prince Fedor Romodanovsky, La tele de tu vida, 2007.

Stage Appearances:

The Sleeping Prince, produced in England, 1983.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

Play Bridge with Omar Sharif, Best Film & Video Corp., 1987.

Bridge Deluxe with Omar Sharif, 1993.

Video Games:

Himself, Bridge Deluxe with Omar Sharif, 1993.

WRITINGS

Scripts:

How to Play the Blue Team Club, Stancraft Productions, 1970.

Television Episodes:

Petits mythes urbains (also known as GroBstadt Schocker, Les mythes urbains, and Urban Myth Chillers), 2003.

Books:

(With Marie-Therese Guinchard) L'eternel masculin (autobiography), Stock, 1976, translation by Martin Sokolinsky published as The Eternal Male, Doubleday (New York City), 1977.

Omar Sharif's Life in Bridge, Faber and Faber, 1983.

Author of syndicated columns on bridge in magazines and newspapers in the 1970s and 1980s.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, St. James Press, 1996.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sharif, Omar 1932- (Omar Cherif, Omar El-Cherif, Omar Shariff)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sharif, Omar 1932- (Omar Cherif, Omar El-Cherif, Omar Shariff)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/sharif-omar-1932-omar-cherif-omar-el-cherif-omar-shariff

"Sharif, Omar 1932- (Omar Cherif, Omar El-Cherif, Omar Shariff)." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/sharif-omar-1932-omar-cherif-omar-el-cherif-omar-shariff

Sharif, Omar

SHARIF, Omar



Nationality: Egyptian. Born: Michael Shalhoub in Alexandria, 10 April 1932; grew up in Cairo. Education: Attended English schools; British Victoria College, Cairo. Family: Married the actress Faten Hamama, 1955 (divorced), son: Tarek. Career: Worked in the family lumber business for three years; 1953—film debut in Egypt; formed own production company; 1962—western film debut in Lawrence of Arabia; 1966—member of the team the Bridge Circus; also a bridge columnist, and made tapes for the TV series Grand Slam; 1986—in TV mini-series Peter the Great; 1987—presenter of TV show Play Bridge with Omar Sharif; 1990s—in TV mini-series Sidney Sheldon's Memories of Midnight, 1991, and Lie Down with Lions, 1994. Agent: Ames Cushing, William Morris Agency, 31/32 Soho Square, London W1V 5DG, England.


Films as Actor:

1953

Sera's fil Wadi (Struggle in the Valley) (Shahin)

1954

Ayamna el Hilwa (Our Happy Days) (Halim); Shaitan el Sahara (Devil of the Desert) (Shahin)

1955

Sera'a fil Mina (Struggle in the Pier) (Shahin); Ard el Salam (Land of Peace) (El-Chiekh)

1956

La Anam (No Sleep) (Saif)

1957

Shati el Asrar (Shore of Mystery) (Salem); Ghaltit Habibi (My Lover's Mistake) (Bideir)

1958

Goha (Baratier); Min Ajl Imraa (For the Sake of a Woman) (El-Cheikh); Mouid maa el Maghoul (A Date with an Unknown) (Salem); Fediha fil Zamalek (Scandal at Zamalek) (Mustafa)

1959

Ehne el Talamza (We Students) (Salem); Sera's fil Nil (Struggle in the Nile) (Salem)

1960

Eshaet Hub (Love Rumor) (Abdel-Wahab); Lowat el Hub (Agony of Love) (Saif); Nahr el Hub (River of Love) (Zukfikar); Hubbi el Wahid (My Only Love) (El-Cheikh); Gharam el Asyad (I Love My Boss) (Naguib); Bidaya wa Nihaya (Beginning and End) (Saif)

1961

Fi Baitina Rajul (A Man in Our House) (Barakat)

1962

Lawrence of Arabia (Lean) (as Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish)

1964

The Fall of the Roman Empire (Anthony Mann) (as Sohamus); Behold a Pale Horse (Zinnemann) (as Father Francisco); The Yellow Rolls-Royce (Asquith) (as Davich)

1965

La Fabuleuse Aventure de Marco Polo (Marco the Magnificent) (de la Patellière and Noel Howard) (as Emir Alaou); Genghis Khan (Levin) (title role); Doctor Zhivago (Lean) (title role)

1966

The Poppy Is Also a Flower (Terence Young) (as Dr. Rad)

1967

The Night of the Generals (Litvak) (as Major Grau); C'era una volta (More than a Miracle; Cinderella, Italian Style; Happily Ever After) (Rosi) (as Prince Ramon)

1968

Funny Girl (Wyler) (as Nick Arnstein); Mayerling (Terence Young) (as Crown Prince Rudolf)

1969

MacKenna's Gold (J. Lee Thompson) (as Colorado); The Appointment (Lumet) (as Federico Fendi); Che! (Fleischer) (title role)

1970

The Last Valley (Clavell) (as Vogel); The Horsemen (Frankenheimer) (as Uraz)

1971

Le Casse (The Burglars) (Verneuil) (as Abel Zacharia)

1972

Le Droit d'aimer (The Right to Love; Brainwashed) (Le Hung)

1973

L'isola misteriosa e il capitano Nemo (The Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo) (Bardem) (as Captain Nemo)

1974

The Tamarind Seed (Edwards) (as Feodor Sverdlov); Juggernaut (Lester) (as Captain Brunel); The Return of the Pink Panther (Edwards)

1975

Funny Lady (Ross) (as Nick Arnstein); Crime and Passion (Ace Up Your Sleeve) (Passer) (as André Ferren)

1976

The Pink Panther Strikes Again (Edwards) (as Egyptian assassin)

1979

Bloodline (Terence Young) (as Ivo Palazzi); Ashanti (Fleischer) (as the Prince)

1980

The Baltimore Bullet (Miller) (as the Deacon); Oh, Heavenly Dog! (Camp) (as Malcolm Bart); S*H*E (Robert Lewis—for TV) (as Cesare Magnasco); Pleasure Palace (Grauman—for TV)

1981

Green Ice (Day) (as Meno Argenti)

1982

Inchon (Terence Young)

1984

Top Secret! (Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker) (as Cedric); Far Pavilions (Duffell—for TV)

1985

Edge of the Wind (Ives—for TV); Vicious Circle (Ives—for TV)

1986

Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (Chomsky—for TV) (as Czar Nicholas II); Harem (Hale—for TV) (as Sultan Hassan)

1987

Les Possédés (The Possessed) (Wajda) (as Stephan Verkhovensky)

1988

Grand Larceny (Szwarc—for TV) (as Rashid Saud); Les Pyramides bleue (Paradise Calling) (Dombasle) (as Alex); Keys to Freedom (Feke)

1989

Michelangelo and Me (De Moro—for TV); No Justice (Tessari)

1990

Mountains of the Moon (Rafelson) (uncredited); Quatro piccole donne (Albano—for TV); The Rainbow Thief (Jodorowsky) (as Dima the Thief); Lion in the Desert (Tessari—for TV); Viaggio d'Amore (Journey of Love) (as Rico)

1991

The Castle (Foreman); Al Moaten Al Myssri (War in the Land of Egypt) (Salah Abou Serif); Mayrig (Verneuil) (as Hagop)

1992

Tengoku No Taizai (Heavenly Sin) (Masuda) (as Tsai Mang Hua); Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris (Shaw—for TV) (as Marquis DeChassange); 588 Rue Paradis (Verneuil) (as Hagop); Beyond Justice (Tessari) (as Emir)

1996

Gulliver's Travels (Sturridge—for TV) (as the Sorcerer)

1997

Heaven Before I Die (Musallam) (as Khalil Gibran)

1998

Mysteries of Egypt (Neibaur) (as Grandfather)

1999

The 13th Warrior (McTiernan) (as Melchisidek)



Publications


By SHARIF: books—

L'eternel Masculin, with Marie Guinchars, Paris, 1976; as The Eternal Male, Paris, 1976.

Omar Sharif's Life in Bridge, London, 1983.


On SHARIF: articles—

Current Biography 1970, New York, 1970.

Jabara, A., and others, "The Arab Image in American Film and Television," in Cineaste (New York), vol. 17, no. 1, 1989.

Rosen, M., "The Making of Omar Sharif: an Interview," in Cineaste (New York), vol. 17, no. 1, 1989.


* * *

After almost ten years as a star of the Egyptian cinema, Omar Sharif received desired international critical and popular acclaim with his performance as Sherif Ali, Lawrence's fierce ally in David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. The film won an Oscar as Best Picture and Sharif was nominated as Best Supporting Actor. Quickly he became a gossip-magazine staple as the hottest new screen sex symbol. In the years that immediately followed, he courageously took on further historical characters, including Sohamus, King of the Armenians in The Fall of the Roman Empire, and the title role of Genghis Khan.

David Lean, who brought him to international acclaim, then altered Sharif's established image as a fierce warrior, when he next cast him as Dr. Yuri Zhivago, the idealistic poet caught up in the Russian Revolution and an illicit love affair. Sharif's role in the epic Doctor Zhivago is still the part many moviegoers primarily identify him with. The film was produced on a mammoth scale, by a major director and co-starred Julie Christie (who also was extremely popular at the time). This all contributed to Zhivago's current status as a cinematic classic and Sharif's association to the main character. Three years later he was cast as Nick Arnstein opposite Barbra Streisand's Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. (This was his ultimate role as a man wounded in love.) For the third time in less than ten years, he was in a top-grossing film and the focus of much media attention. His real life escapades as a bridge player fueled the fan magazines with parallels between Sharif and Arnstein.

The year 1969 saw the beginning of his fall from major stardom. Once again he took on the role of a historic figure: Che Guevara in Che!. This time the film was a disaster and Sharif did not weather the failure. He then began to work in Europe. In the mid-1970s he returned to English-speaking roles only to be involved in three all-star failures: as Soviet spy Sverdlov opposite Julie Andrews in Blake Edwards's The Tamarind Seed, as Captain Brunel in Richard Lester's Juggernaut, and once again as Nick Arnstein opposite Streisand in Herbert Ross's Funny Lady. Despite an interesting performance as the opportunistic investment counselor André Ferren in Ivan Passer's underrated Crime and Passion, Sharif has since received only mediocre roles in mediocre or poor films. Most recently, he was uncharacteristically cast as a villain in the television movie Gulliver's Travels.

Sharif's offscreen life as an international playboy kept his name active in the gossip columns in the 1980s. His box-office power, however, has waned significantly from the promise of the 1960s.

—Doug Tomlinson, updated by Linda J. Stewart

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sharif, Omar." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sharif, Omar." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sharif-omar

"Sharif, Omar." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sharif-omar