Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif

Apr. 10th, 1932
Born in
Alexandria, Egypt
5' 10"

Omar Sharif's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Bracken's World TV Show
Bracken's World

Main Movie Roles

2008 - 10,000 BC
2006 - One Night with the King
2004 - Hidalgo
2003 - Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran
2001 - The Parole Officer
1999 - The 13th Warrior
1998 - Mysteries of Egypt
1990 - The Rainbow Thief
1990 - Mountains of the Moon
1984 - Top Secret!
1980 - Oh Heavenly Dog
1979 - Bloodline
1976 - The Pink Panther Strikes Again
1975 - Funny Lady
1974 - Juggernaut
1971 - The Last Valley
1971 - Le casse
1969 - Mackenna's Gold
1968 - Funny Girl
1967 - The Night of the Generals
1965 - Genghis Khan
1965 - Doctor Zhivago
1964 - The Yellow Rolls-Royce
1964 - The Fall of the Roman Empire
1962 - Lawrence of Arabia

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
[Complete List]


Omar Sharif, the Franco-Arabic actor best known for playing Sharif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and the title role in Doctor Zhivago (1965), was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub on April 10, 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt to Joseph Shalhoub, a lumber merchant, and his wife, Claire. Of Lebanese and Syrian extraction, the young Michel was raised a Roman Catholic. He was educated at Victoria College in Alexandria and too a degree in mathematics and physics from Cairo University with a major. Afterward graduating from university, he entered the family lumber business.

Before making his English-language film debut with "Lawrence of Arabia", for which he earned him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination and international fame, Sharif became a star in Egyptian cinema. His first movie was the Egyptian film Siraa Fil-Wadi (1954) ("The Blazing Sun") in 1953, opposite the renowned Egyptian actress 'Faten Hamamain'whom he married in 1955. He converted to Islam to marry Hamamain and took the name Omar al-Sharif. The couple had one child (Tarek Sharif, who was born in 1957 and portrayed the young Zhivago in the eponymous picture) and divorced in 1974. Sharif never remarried.

Beginning in the 1960s, Sharif earned a reputation as one of the world's best known contract bridge players. In the 1970s and '80s, he co-wrote a syndicated newspaper bridge column for the Chicago Tribune. Sharif also wrote several books on bridge and has licensed his name to a bridge computer game, "Omar Sharif Bridge", which has been marketed since 1992.

Sharif told the press in 2006 that he no longer played bridge, explaining, "I decided I didn't want to be a slave to any passion any more except for my work. I had too many passions, bridge, horses, gambling. I want to live a different kind of life, be with my family more because I didn't give them enough time."

As an actor, Sharif had made a comeback in 2003 playing the title role of an elderly Muslim shopkeeper in the French film Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran (2003). For his performance, he won the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival and the Best Actor César, France's equivalent of the Oscar, from the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma.

  • Fluent in English, Arabic, Greek and French
  • As of 2009, he is only one of six performers who won a Golden Globe Award as Best Lead Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture Drama without being nominated for an Oscar for that same role (his for _Doctor Zhivago (1965)_ (qv)). The others are 'Spencer Tracy' (qv) in _The Actress (1953)_ (qv), 'Anthony Franciosa (I)' (qv) in _Career (1959)_ (qv), 'Shirley MacLaine' (qv) in _Madame Sousatzka (1988)_ (qv), 'Jim Carrey' (qv) in _The Truman Show (1998)_ (qv) and 'Kate Winslet' (qv) in _Revolutionary Road (2008)_ (qv).
  • Writes a weekly syndicated column on Bridge.
  • World-class Bridge player, he has been known to anticipate or postpone shootings in order to be able to attend major bridge events.
  • Of Lebanese/Syrian descent, but lived in Egypt all his life
  • Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 1990.
  • He is both author and co-author of several books on Bridge and has licensed his name to a Bridge computer game.
  • Also fluent in Italian (ex. appearance in main RAI show ''Domenica In'' 10/23/2005)

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