Omar Sharif: 5 Most Famous Movies by the Egyptian Actor
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 86th birthday of the late film star Omar Sharif, who died in 2015. The Egyptian actor shot to international fame with prominent classics like Funny Girl and Lawrence of Arabia, for which he received multiple accolades like two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Sharif launched his acting career with The Blazing Sun in 1954 and went on to star in many movies in his home country. However, it was David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia that turned him into a world-renowned star overnight.
To celebrate Sharif’s trailblazing career, Inverse has rounded up his top five most memorable films.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
This was the role that started it all. Sharif played the supporting role of Sherif Ali in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia. His iconic intro 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. While the film has become a classic, Sharif’s scene has gone down as one of the best character introductions in Hollywood history. The film is currently streaming on Hulu.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
This classic adaptation of the Boris Pasternak romance tells the story of Yuri Zhivago’s affair with Lara Guisha (Julie Christie) during the Russian Revolution. The enduring love story spans years as Dr. Zhivago and Lara attempt and fail to move on with their significant others. This classic is available to rent on Amazon Video.
Funny Girl (1968)
Starring opposite Barbara Streisand is no easy feat, but Sharif held his own playing Fanny Brice’s (Streisand) imprisoned husband. The musical drama, based on the Broadway play, tells the story of Brice’s rise to fame among New York City’s glittering theater lights while attempting to keep her rocky marriage alive. The film is available to rent on iTunes.
Funny Lady (1975)
The sequel to the classic big screen musical sees the now-famous Fanny move on and marry her new love interest, Billy. However, the marriage begins to quickly fall apart as Billy realizes the starlet is still in love with her ex-husband, Nick, the role reprised by Sharif. Funny Lady can be watched on Amazon Video.
In one of Sharif’s later performances, in which he stars opposite Viggo Mortensen, the actor plays an Arab Sheikh in this horse racing story. Set in 1890, Sharif’s Sheikh Riyadh invites American cowboy Frank Hopkins and his horse to race against some of the Middle East’s best stallions across the blistering desert. You can watch one of Sharif’s last performances on iTunes.