How Omar Sharif Dominated Hollywood Without Uttering a Word
He was also a hell of a bridge player.
Tuesday’s Google Doodle on Tuesday celebrates the life of Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, an actor who became famous for a film appearance that required no lines at all.
With a film and TV career that spanned six decades, he will always be remembered for one of the most iconic sequences in film. Sharif played the supporting role of Sherif Ali in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia. His introduction in the film begins with Ali as a shadowy figure in the distance appearing like a mirage to the audience. The figure, on what looks to be a blue sea in the desert, is slowly revealed to be Sherif on horseback. A video on the CinemaTyler YouTube channel explained the amount of work involved in creating the famous shot, which can be viewed below.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Sharif started his acting career in The Blazing Sun, released in 1954. He starred in multiple movies in his home country, but it was Lawrence of Arabia that made him known to the rest of the world. He won two Golden Globes for his performance and an Academy Award nomination.
In 1965’s Doctor Zhivago, Sharif played the lead role of Yuri Zhivago. His performance in the film, based on the novel of the same name, earned him another Golden Globe. Other prominent movies in his career include Funny Girl, The 13th Warrior, and Monsieur Ibrahim.
Aside from acting, Sharif was also known for his skills at the card game bridge. He wrote several books and a syndicated Chicago Tribune column about the game. There’s even a series of Bridge video games featuring Sharif, including one currently available on iTunes.
Sharif died on July 10, 2015, at the age of 83. The Google Doodle celebrates what would have been his 86th birthday.