An actor who starred in some of the most acclaimed films of all time has died. The New York Times reports that Omar Sharif died of a heart attack in a hospital in Cairo, Egypt. He was 83.
The Egyptian-born Sharif became an international star in the 1960s through roles in classic films including “Dr. Zhivago,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Funny Girl.” Sharif was nominated for an Oscar in 1963 for his performance in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
“The darkly handsome Mr. Sharif was a commanding presence on screen,” The Times reports. “He was multilingual as well, and comfortable in almost any role or cultural setting.”
The report quotes Sharif in a 2003 interview with the paper saying: “My philosophy of life is that I’m living every moment intensely, as if it were the last moment. I don’t think of what I did before or what I’m going to do. I think of what I’m doing right now.”
Sharif won Golden Globes for both “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia.”
“The 1960s proved to be Mr. Sharif’s best, busiest and most visible decade in Hollywood,” The Times reports. “In quick succession, he appeared in ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire’ (1964), as a king of ancient Armenia; ‘Behold a Pale Horse’ (1964), as a priest during the Spanish Civil War; ‘The Yellow Rolls-Royce’ (1965), as a Yugoslav patriot intent on saving his country from the Nazis; ‘Genghis Khan’ (1965), as the conquering Mongol leader; ‘Dr. Zhivago’ (1965), as a Russian physician-poet whose world is torn apart by war; ‘The Night of the Generals’ (1967), as a German intelligence officer; ‘Funny Girl’ (1968), as a shifty gambler, and ‘Che’ (1969), as the Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara opposite Jack Palance as Fidel Castro.”
Here’s an interview with Sharif from 2004, beginning with a clip of his entrance in “Lawrence of Arabia.” Along with clips of some of Sharif’s performances, the featurette presents the actor’s insights on the situation in the Middle East: