One of the charming actors from the land of Egypt is Omar Sharif. Born in Alexandria, on April 10th, 1932, he made his first appearance in films in 1950. He was popularly known for his movies like “Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Funny Girl, War in the Land of Egypt, ‘Mysterious Island’, ‘S*H*E’, and Bloodline and so on.”
He has been recipients of 3 golden globes, Cesar Award and many more.
Michel Dimitri Chalhoub
Originally called Michel Dimitri Chalhoub, Omar Sharif has been his stage name as few actors tend to change it for their profession but he changed it as he converted to Islam from Christianity.
Versatile in 5 Languages
From his childhood, he was fluent in languages and he went across the globe for his career. This language helped him when he studied in London, did films in the US, Europe. He then settled in Paris and hence he was well versed in Arabic, English, Italian, Spanish and French.
He tied the knot with actress Faten Hamama during the filming of “Struggle in the Valley” in 1954. The actress was earlier married to Ezzel Dine from 1947 to 1954 and shared a daughter Nadia Zulficar. With Omar, she had a son Tarek Sharif in 1957. Sadly Omar and Faten parted ways soon and divorced in 1966. After this Omar never married but Faten when onto marry for the 3rd time.
His love for playing Bridge was besides acting and he was well versed in playing it. He was among 50 in playing the game across the globe and he went to the Olympics and was leading the tea in 1968. Omar also found the “Omar Sharif Bridge Circus in 1967” to bring exposure to the game.
Omar was not Box-office King
Though he was successful in his profession he was not a box-office actor. He had done a few movies which were undeniable which almost destroyed his acting career.
He was very much part of the revolution when the riot broke between demonstrators and armed forces which killed 800 people and 6000 were injured. Commenting on this tragic incident Sharif stated that: “Given that the entire Egyptian people don’t want him and he’s been in power for 30 years, that’s enough.”