R.I.P. Omar Sharif

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Yesterday, the great actor Omar Sharif passed away in a hospital in Cairo, after suffering a heart attack. He was 83.

Sharif is remembered for his performance as the titular character in “Doctor Zhivago”, for which he received a Golden Globe award. He has also garnered two Golden Globe awards and an Academy Award nomination for his performance as Sherif Ali in “Lawrence of Arabia” three years prior; and a César Award for his portrayal of the titular character in the French film “Monsieur Ibrahim” (2003).

Sharif appeared in as many as 70 films throughout his career of more than 60 years. He has performed in films from a variety of countries, including Egypt, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For his final film role, an upcoming, animated, British, educational short called “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham”, he delivered a voice role as the film’s narrator. His final full-length film was a French-Morroccan drama called “Rock the Casbah”, released in 2013.

Outside of film business, Sharif led a career as a contract bridge player, and was at one point among the top 50 players in the world. He has written about bridge in numerous books, as well as a column for the Chicago Tribune. He remained a regular at French casinos until his death.

Sharif is survived by his son Tarek El-Sharif and his grandsons Omar Sharif, Jr. and Karim Sharif. He continued to work in the film industry until May of 2015, when it was reported that he was suffering Alzheimer’s disease.

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