Omar Sharif

  • Born: (Alexandria, Kingdom of Egypt)
  • Died: (Cairo, Egypt) (age 83)

Omar Sharif (Arabic: عمر الشريف‎ ,born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub) was an Egyptian film and television actor.

He began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in both British and American productions. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He won three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award.

Sharif, who spoke Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Italian fluently, was often cast as a foreigner of some sort. He bridled at travel restrictions imposed by the government of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, leading to self-exile in Europe. He was a lifelong horse racing enthusiast, and at one time ranked among the world's top contract bridge players.

Sharif had a triple heart bypass operation in 1992 and suffered a mild heart attack in 1994. Until his bypass, Sharif smoked 100 cigarettes a day. He quit smoking after the operation.

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

On 10 July 2015, less than six months after his former wife's death at the same age, Sharif died after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in Cairo.

On 12 July 2015, Sharif's funeral was held at the Grand Mosque of Mushir Tantawi in eastern Cairo. His coffin was later taken to the El-Sayeda Nafisa cemetery in southern Cairo, where he was buried.

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