21 Facts About Omar Sharif


Omar Sharif began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in American, British, French, and Italian productions.


Omar Sharif made his final film appearance in 2015, the year of his death.


Omar Sharif adopted the surname Sharif, meaning "noble" or "nobleman" in Arabic, after converting to Islam in the 1950s.


Omar Sharif's mother, Claire Saada, was a noted society hostess, in whose house Egypt's King Farouk was a regular visitor prior to his deposition in 1952.


In 1954, Omar Sharif began his acting career in Egypt with a role in Struggle in the Valley.


Omar Sharif reprised the role of Nick Arnstein in the sequel to Funny Girl, Funny Lady in 1975.


Omar Sharif appeared on stage in a production of The Sleeping Prince in 1983, saying he "appeared in the bad films of great directors".


Omar Sharif was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1989, when he was surprised by Michael Aspel outside his Paris apartment.


In 2003, Omar Sharif received acclaim for his leading role in Monsieur Ibrahim, a French-language film adaptation of the novel Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran, as a Muslim Turkish merchant who becomes a father figure for a Jewish boy.


Also in 2006, Omar Sharif played the artist Hans Canon in "The Crown Prince", a film about Rudolf, the 19th century crown prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


Omar Sharif was both author and co-author of several books on bridge and licensed his name to a bridge video game, Omar Sharif Bridge, initially released in an MS-DOS version and Amiga version in 1992 and is still sold in Windows and mobile platform versions.


Omar Sharif lived in Egypt from his birth until he moved to Europe in 1965.


Omar Sharif recounted that in 1932, his father "wasn't a wealthy man", but "earned quite a bit of money".


In 1954, Omar Sharif starred in the film Struggle in the Valley with Faten Hamama, who shared a kiss with him although she had previously refused to kiss on screen.


Actor and friend Tom Courtenay revealed in an interview for the 19 July 2008 edition of BBC Radio's Test Match Special that Omar Sharif supported Hull City Association Football Club and in the 1970s he would telephone their automated scoreline from his home in Paris for score updates.


Omar Sharif was given an honorary degree by the University of Hull in 2010 and he used the occasion to meet Hull City football player Ken Wagstaff.


Omar Sharif was one of the ambassadors of Egypt's bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup which lost out to South Africa.


Omar Sharif had a triple heart bypass operation in 1992 and suffered a mild heart attack in 1994.


In May 2015, it was reported that Omar Sharif was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.


On 12 July 2015, Omar Sharif's funeral was held at the Grand Mosque of Mushir Tantawi in eastern Cairo.


In November 2005, Omar Sharif was awarded the inaugural Sergei Eisenstein Medal by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in recognition of his significant contributions to world film and cultural diversity.