The legendary actor Omar Sharif appeared in many movies. Chief among these was Doctor Zhivago. He died yesterday and his life and times have been recorded for all to gaze at in their marvelous detail.
When the movie Doctor Zhivago came out everyone flocked to the movie theaters to watch it. Based upon the famous Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, a Russian author, the movie is truly a memorable experience.
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It shows love and the painful parting of star-crossed lovers in the context of the Russian Revolution. And it had Omar Sharif in it. The one and only Omar Sharif who passed away yesterday to the sorrow of so many who loved the man beyond words.
Omar Sharif leaves behind him a grandson Omar Sharif Jr. who is just as handsome as his grandfather was in his times. Omar Sharif Jr posted a picture of him with his grandfather on Facebook with the simple caption, "I love you."
Omar died at the ripe age of 83. His grandson also thanked all the fans of Omar Sharif for their prayers and support.
I join my family in thanking everyone for the global outpouring of prayers & support we've been receiving. I will miss my grandfather dearly— Omar Sharif Jr. (@OmarSharifJr) July 10, 2015
Besides Doctor Zhivago, Omar appeared in the movie Lawrence of Arabia which was based upon the life of the brave and adventurous T.E. Lawrence. He won an Oscar nomination for that film.
Omar was also the recipient of two Golden Globe Awards. Sharif was famous for his spruce and polished style in clothing, his good-looking face and manners and last but not least his pixie way of being a trickster and prankster. He never lost touch with his inner child.
Omar once said in an interview in the noughties that he had never told a single lie in his life. The man explained plainly that even if it harmed him, he told the truth and only the truth. And just for a man to say this much, it takes a whole lot of guts.
After a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s, Omar Sharif faced the end with dignity and died of a sudden heart attack. He had seen a lot in a life well-lived. Omar had enjoyed every moment of his life since he was an epicure and showed great appreciation for the finer pleasures that existence had to offer a man.
Sharif was in a Cairo medical establishment in his last moments. His last days were painful since he had not been taking any food or water. Besides this his psyche had been torn to shreds by Alzheimer’s.
After his death, the celebs of the world began adding to the commentary about his life. Antonio Banderas said that he was a wonderful storyteller and friend who showed fidelity. He also said that Omar Sharif was a man of wisdom. He will be missed since he was the best of the best.
Many other celebs and media paid tribute to the legendary Egyptian actor on social media. See some tweets below.
I knew Omar Sharif very well & adored him. A dashing, bright, honest, classy, wonderful guy and a great bridge player! I miss you, Omar.— Larry King (@kingsthings) July 10, 2015
Omar Sharif's opening scene in 'Lawrence of Arabia' is one of the most dramatic in film history. Amazing exposition.— Larry King (@kingsthings) July 10, 2015
Omar Sharif, R.I.P. Movie Legend!— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) July 10, 2015
RIP Omar Sharif. Thank you for all of your beautiful work on screen and at the bridge table.— Kevin Chamberlin (@kevinchamberlin) July 10, 2015
RIP Roger Rees. A great loss for the theater community.— Kevin Chamberlin (@kevinchamberlin) July 11, 2015
Omar, by the way, was a linguist who was well-adapted to speaking six languages with great fluency. These included: Arabic, English, French, Greek, Italian and Spanish. An Italian actress and an Egyptian one too paid their tributes to the legend among legends.
Omar also played bridge with avidity and acumen. Indeed, he was a master of many skills. Omar began his acting journey in the 50s. And he never looked back. His appetite for life and lust for adventure took him many places.
Moreover, Omar was proud of being an Egyptian. He never had that inferiority complex that so many Easterners have with respect to Western Civilization. He had a stable of thoroughbred horses which he often rode with passion and zest. The gentleman actor was the epitome of true grit and an undying reverence for everything lively. He is reputed to have once said that he would rather play a good game of bridge than act in a bad movie.
Omar Sharif was born in 1932. He was named Michel Demitri Shalhoub and he was originally Roman Catholic by faith. Soon enough the acting profession attracted him and he took to it like a duck to water.
Later on he married and had a son from his wife Hamama. They were to divorce due to irreconcilable differences after a while. In between, he converted to Islam and adopted the name Omar Sharif. After the death of his wife, he professed that she was the only woman he ever loved. He never remarried although he had a son from a liaison with an Italian journalist.
Omar lived the life of Riley. He was known as a playboy during his peak period as an actor. Omar had a string of affairs and had a reputation as quite a lady’s man. This testosterone factor was not without its dark side.
He often lashed out angrily at everyone from cops to parking attendants. Once he was ordered to attend an anger management course by the court. Omar suffered cardiac problems and he had to ultimately quit his chain-smoking habit for health reasons.
He played Ernesto Che Guevera in the movie Che! and there are black and white photos from the good old days of him sitting close to Barbara Streisand. Omar Sharif had no regrets in life.
He always enjoyed each passing moment to the hilt. As for his philandering nature, that is a common characteristic in all handsome men and Alpha males who are given the opportunity to seek forbidden pleasures.
However, not for a single second did Omar lose his dignity or self-respect. He took things with a grain of salt and often managed to make the difficult appear to be a piece of cake.
Peter O’Toole was his drinking buddy and fast friend. Sharif was the contemporary of such figures as King Hussein of Jordan, the Palestinian revolutionary thinker, Edward Said and Saudi jet set magnate, Adnan Khashoggi.
Finally, before parting we would like to offer a salute to Omar Sharif. He was a babe magnet in his times. There were even times when he was having marriage proposals pouring into his mailbox that numbered in the thousands.
His charisma and glory as an actor of reason and rip-roaring ravishingly attractive looks managed to win him the feminine charms of so many leading ladies of the day who swooned at the mere mention of his name. Yet Omar was a very astute and shrewd actor who made a name for himself in the Hall of Fame of the acting world. He will live on in the memories of the world’s cinephiles.
Rest in Peace, Omar…
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