“Truly, for some men nothing is written unless they write it.”
In discussing the ultimate departure of Omar Sharif — the legendary actor, born Michael Shalhoub, died Friday after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in his native Egypt — it’s only fitting we talk about his most famous arrival. After becoming a star in Egypt, Sharif’s first English-language film was the David Lean epic Lawrence of Arabia. Sharif — who earned his sole Oscar nomination for the movie — played Sheriff Ali, who makes one of the most indelible entrances in the history of cinema. The actor seemingly materializes out of thin air; it’s meant to evoke a mirage, which is fitting because moviegoers could hardly believe their eyes.
His striking, exotic looks allowed him to play everyone from Genghis Khan to Che Guevara. Sharif went on to make a pair of other iconic films, taking on the title role in Doctor Zhivago and starring opposite Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl. On top of accumulating more than 100 movie and TV credits, Sharif cultivated a sophisticated, well-rounded image off-screen. (The actor once ranked among the top 50 bridge players in the world.) Needless to say, this was a man and a performer who charted his own path and wrote his own story. Join us in celebrating Sharif’s work with a trip through the UpcomingDiscs archives.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
The Horsemen (1971)
Top Secret! (1984)
Monsieur Ibrahim (2003)
One Night with the King (2006)
The Last Templar (2009)