Omar Sharif


Omar Sharif (Arabic: عمر الشريف‎; born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub; April 10. 1932 – July 10, 2015) was an Egyptian film and television actor. He began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in British, American, French, and Italian productions. His best known films include David Lean‘s Lawrence of Arabia (1962), with Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, and Arthur Kennedy; Lean’s Doctor Zhivago (1965), with Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Guinness, Tom Courtenay, Ralph Richardson, Siobhán McKenna, and Rita Tushingham; and William Wyler‘s Funny Girl (1968), with Barbra Streisand, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Allen, and Mae Questel. Other notable films of the early 1960s include Anthony Mann‘s The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), with Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Guinness, James Mason, Christopher Plummer, and Mel Ferrer; Fred Zinnermann‘s Behold a Pale Horse (1964), with Gregory Peck and Quinn; Anthony Asquith’s The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), with Rex Harrison, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley MacLaine, George C. Scott, Alain Delon, and Jeanne Moreau; Henry Levin’s Genghis Kahn (1965), with James Mason, Stephen Boyd, Eli Wallach, Françoise Dorléac and Telly Savalas; Marco the Magnificent (1965), with Horst Buchholz, Quinn, Orson Welles, Akim Tamiroff, and Elsa Martinelli.

Films in the mid to late 1960s include Anatole Litvak’s The Night of the Generals (1967), with O’Toole. Tom Courtenay, Donald Pleasence, Joanna Pettet and Philippe Noiret; More Than a Miracle (1967), with Loren and Dolores del Río; Terence Young’s Mayerling (1968), with Catherine Deneuve, James Mason, Ava Gardner, Geneviève Page, James Robertson Justice and Andréa Parisy; J. Lee Thompson’s Mackenna’s Gold (1969), with Peck, Savalas, Camilla Sparv, Keenan Wynn, Julie Newmar, Ted Cassidy, Lee J. Cobb, Raymond Massey, Burgess Meredith, Quayle, Edward G. Robinson, and Wallach; Sidney Lumet’s The Appointment (1969), with Anouk Aimée; and Richard Fleischer’s Che! (1969), with Jack Palance and Barbara Luna.

Films in the 1970s include James Clavell’s The Last Valley (1971), with Michael Caine, Florinda Bolkan, Nigel Davenport, Per Oscarsson, Arthur O’Connell, Madeleine Hinde, Yorgo Voyagis, Miguel Alejandro, and Christian Roberts; John Frankenheimer’s The Horsemen (1971), with Leigh Taylor-Young and Palance; Henri Verneuil’s The Burglars (1971), with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Dyan Cannon, and Robert Hossein; Blake Edwards’s The Tamarind Seed (1974), with Julie Andrews; and Richard Lester‘s Juggernaut (1974), with Richard Harris, Freddie Jones, David Hemmings, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley Knight, Ian Holm, Clifton James, and Roy Kinnear.

Films in the mid to late 1970s include Herbert Ross’s Funny Lady (1975), with Streisand, James Caan, Roddy McDowall and Ben Vereen; Ivan Passer’s Ace Up My Sleeve (1976), with Joseph Bottoms snd Karen Black; Ashanti (1979), with Caine, Peter Ustinov, Kabir Bedi, Beverly Johnson, Harrison, and William Holden; and Bloodline (1979), with Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara, James Mason, Claudia Mori, Irene Papas, Michelle Phillips, Maurice Ronet, Romy Schneider, Beatrice Straight, and Gert Fröbe.

Films in the 1980s include The Baltimore Bullet (1980), with James Coburn, Bruce Boxleitner, and Ronee Blakley; Oh! Heavenly Dog (1980), with Chevy Chase and Jane Seymour; Green Ice (1981), with Ryan O’Neal and Anne Archer; Zucker, Abrams & Zucker‘s Top Secret! (1984), with Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, and Jeremy Kemp; and Andrzej Wajda’s The Possessed (1989), with Isabelle Huppert; and Keys to Freedom (1988), with Seymour, Denholm Elliott, Jim Youngs, David Warner, and Nancy Kwan.

Later films include Heaven Before I Die (1997), with Andy Velasquez, Giancarlo Giannini, and Joanna Pacula; The 13th Warrior (1999), with Antonio Banderas and Diane Venora; The Parole Officer (2001), with Steve Coogan, Om Puri, Steven Waddington, Ben Miller, Emma Williams, and Brad Sewell; Joe Johnston‘s Hidalgo (2004), with Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson, Louise Lombard, Adam Alexi-Malle, Saïd Taghmaoui, J.K. Simmons, Malcolm McDowelland ; and One Night with the King (2006), with Tiffany Dupont, Luke Goss, John Rhys-Davies, John Noble, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, James Callis, Jonah Lotan, and O’Toole.

TV movie and miniseries include The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1969), with Yul Brynner, Wallach, Angie Dickinson, Senta Berger, Stephen Boyd, Trevor Howard, Rita Hayworth, and Marcello Mastroianni; Peter the Great (1986), with Maximilian Schell,,Vanessa Redgrave, Trevor Howard, Laurence Olivier, Helmut Griem, Jan Niklas, Elke Sommer, Renee Soutendijk, Ursula Andress, and Ferrer; Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986), with Amy Irving, Harrison, Olivia de Havilland, Christian Bale, and Jan Niklas; Grand Larceny (1987), with Marilu Henner, Ian McShane, and Louis Jourdan; Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris (1992), with Angela Lansbury and Diana Rigg; Red Eagle (1994), with Timothy Dalton, Marg Helgenberger, Nigel Havers, and Jürgen Prochnow; Catherine the Great (1995), with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul McGann, Ian Richardson, Brian Blessed, and Christoph Waltz; Gulliver’s Travels (1996), with Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, O’Toole, John Gielgud, Huppert, Geraldine Chaplin, Shashi Kapoor, Warwick Davis, Kristin Scott Thomas, Alfre Woodard, Kate Maberly, Tom Sturridge, Richard Wilson and Nicholas Lyndhurst; and The Last Templar (2008), with starring Mira Sorvino, Scott Foley, Victor Garber, Anthony Lemke, and Kenneth Welsh.

Sharif was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Lawrence of Arabia. He won three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award for Monsieur Ibrahim (2005). He spoke Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian fluently, was often cast, in British and American films, as a foreigner of some sort. He bridled at travel restrictions imposed by the government of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, leading to self-exile in Europe. He was a lifelong horse racing enthusiast, and at one time ranked among the world’s top contract bridge players.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • The Blazing Sun (1954) – directed by Youssef Chahine
  • Devil of the Sahara (1954) – directed by Youssef Chahine
  • Our Best Days (1955) – directed by the Egyptian Helmy Halim
  • Dark Waters (1956) – directed by Youssef Chahine
  • The Lebanese Mission (1956) – directed by Richard Pottier
  • Sleepless (1957) – directed by Salah Abouseif
  • Land of Peace (1957) – directed by Kamal El Sheikh
  • Beach of Secrets (1958) – directed by Atef Salem
  • Goha (1958) – directed by Jacques Baratier
  • Lady of the Palace (1958) – directed by Kamal El Sheikh
  • The Fault of My Love (1958) – directed by El Sayed Bedeir
  • Rendezvous with a Stranger (1959) – directed by Atef Salem
  • We the Students (1959) – directed by Ibrahim Hilmi & Atef Salem
  • Scandal in Zamalek (1959) – directed by Niazi Mustafa
  • For the Sake of a Woman (1959) – directed by Kamal El Sheikh
  • Struggle in the Nile (1959) – directed by Atef Salem
  • Agony of Love (1960) – directed by Salah Abouseif
  • The Beginning and the End (1960) – directed by Salah Abouseif
  • The River of Love (1960) – directed by Ezzel Dine Zulficar
  • There Is a Man in Our House (1961) – directed by Henry Barakat
  • I Love My Master (1961) – directed by Ramses Naguib
  • My Only Love (1961) – directed by Kamal El Sheikh
  • Rumor of Love (1961) – directed Fatin by Abdel Wahab
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – directed by David Lean
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) – directed by Anthony Mann
  • Behold a Pale Horse (1964) – directed by Fred Zinnermann
  • The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) – directed by Anthony Asquith
  • Genghis Kahn (1965) – directed by Henry Levin
  • Marco the Magnificent (1965) – directed by Denys de La Patellière & Noël Howard
  • Doctor Zhivago (1965) – directed by David Lean
  • The Mamelukes (1965) – directed by Atef Salem
  • The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966) – directed by Terence Young – TV movie
  • The Night of the Generals (1967) – directed by Anatole Litvak
  • More Than a Miracle (1967) – directed by Francesco Rosi
  • Funny Girl (1968) – directed by William Wyler
  • Mayerling (1968) – directed by Terence Young
  • Mackenna’s Gold (1969) – directed by J. Lee Thompson
  • The Appointment (1969) – directed by Sidney Lumet
  • Che! (1969) – directed by Richard Fleischer
  • Three Men on a Horse (1969) – directed by Marcel Moussy – uncredited
  • The Last Valley (1971) – directed by James Clavell
  • The Horsemen (1971) – directed by John Frankenheimer
  • The Burglars (1971) – directed by Henri Verneuil
  • The Right to Love (1972) – directed by Eric le Hung
  • The Mysterious Island (1973) – directed by Juan Antonio Bardem & Henri Colpi – also exists in a 6 episode miniseries
  • The Tamarind Sea (1974) – directed by Blake Edwards
  • Juggernaut (1974) – directed by Richard Lester
  • Funny Lady (1975) – directed by Herbert Ross
  • Crime and Passion (1976) – directed by Ivan Passer
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) – directed by Blake Edwards – uncredited cameo
  • Ashanti (1979) – directed by Richard Fleischer
  • Bloodline (1979) – directed by Terence Young
  • S+H+E: Security Hazards Expert (1980) – directed by Robert Michael Lewis
  • The Baltimore Bullet (1980) – directed by Robert Ellis Miller
  • Oh! Heavenly Dog (1980) – directed by Joe Cam
  • Pleasure Palace (1980) – directed by Walter Grauman – TV movie
  • Green Ice (1981) – directed by Ernest Day
  • Inchon (1982) – directed by Terence Young
  • The Martingale (1983) – directed by Alain Bloch – TV movie
  • Ayoub (1983) – directed by Hany Lasheen
  • The Far Pavilions (1984) – directed by Peter Duffell – miniseries
  • Top Secret! (1984) – directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, & Jerry Zucker
  • Vicious Circle (1985) – directed by Kenneth Ives – TV movie
  • Edge of the Wind (1985) – directed by Kenneth Ives – TV movie
  • Peter the Great (1986) – Marvin J. Chomsky & Lawrence Schiller – miniseries
  • Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986) – directed by Marvin J. Chomsky – miniseries
  • Grand Larceny (1987) – directed by Jeannot Szwarc – TV movie
  • The Possessed (1988) – directed by Andrzej Wajda
  • The Blue Pyramids (1988) – directed by Arielle Dombasle
  • Keys to Freedom (1988) – directed by Steve Feke
  • The Puppeteer (1989) – directed by Hany Lasheen
  • Mountains of the Moon (1990) – directed by Bob Rafelson – uncredited
  • Journey of Love (1990) – directed by Ottavio Fabbri
  • The Rainbow Thief (1990) – directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • The King of Patagonia (1990) – directed by George Campana & Stéphane Kurc – miniseries
  • The Law of the Desert (1991) – directed by Duccio Tessari – miniseries
  • War in the Land of Egypt (1991) – directed by Salah Abu Seif
  • Memories of Midnight (1991) – directed by Gary Nelson – miniseries
  • Mother (1991) – directed by Henri Verneuil
  • 588 Heaven Street (1992) – directed by Henri Verneuil
  • Heavenly Sin (1992) – directed by Toshio Masuda
  • Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris (1992) – directed by Anthony Shaw – TV movie
  • Laughter, Games, Seriousness and Love (1993) – directed by Tarek El-Telmisany
  • Red Eagle (1994) – directed by Jim Goddard – TV movie
  • Catherine the Great (1995) – directed by Marvin J. Chomsky & John Goldsmith – TV movie
  • Ça-Va? (1996) – directed by Aro Korol – short
  • Heaven Before I Die (1997) – directed by Izidore Musallam
  • Mysteries of Egypt (1998) – directed by Bruce Neibaur – short
  • The 13th Warrior (1999) – directed by John McTiernan
  • Going Public (2000) – directed by Harald Holzenleiter
  • Censor (2001) – directed by Dev Anand
  • The Parole Officer (2001) – directed by John Duigan
  • Shaka Zulu: The Citadel (2001) – directed by Joshua Sinclair – TV movie
  • Monsieur Ibrahim (2003) – directed by François Dupeyron
  • Hidalgo (2004) – directed by Joe Johnston
  • The Search for Eternal Egypt (2005) – directed by Graham Judd – narrator – TV movie
  • St. Peter (2005) – directed by Giulio Base – TV movie
  • Fire at my Heart (2006) – directed by Lamberto Lambertini
  • The Ten Commandments (2006) – directed by Robert Dornhelm & Geoffrey Madeja – miniseries
  • Kronprinz Rudolf (2006) – directed by Robert Dornhelm – TV movie
  • One Night with the King (2006) – directed by Michael O. Sajbel
  • 10,000 BC (2008) – directed by Roland Emmerich – narrator
  • Hassan & Marcus (2008) – directed by Ramy Imam
  • The Traveler (2009) – directed by Ahmed Maher
  • I Forgot to Tell You (2009) – directed by Laurent Vinas-Raymond
  • The Last Templar (2009) – directed by Paolo Barzman – miniseries
  • A Castle in Italy (2013) – directed by Valeria Bruni – cameo as himself
  • Rock the Casbah (2013) – directed by Laïla Marrakchi
  • 1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham (2015) – directed by Ahmed Salim – short