One of the world's most celebrated actors, Egypt's iconic actor Omar Sharif, managed to leave his irreplaceable mark not only on the golden age of Egyptian cinema, but on the golden age of Hollywood as well.
For more than five decades, Sharif graced cinema screens across the world with his undeniable talent and charismatic charm, while picking up three Golden Globes and an Academy Award nomination along the way.
In honor of the anniversary of his birth, April 10, we look back on the unforgettable roles that cemented his iconic status in the history of both Egyptian and international cinema.
1. Ahmed in Sira' Fi Al-Wadi (Struggle in the Valley) – 1954
In one of Egyptian cinema and legendary Egyptian director Youssef Chahine's best films, Sharif starred opposite iconic Egyptian actress Faten Hamama in the role that earned him stardom in his home country. He plays a young engineer who finds himself in a forbidden relationship with Hamama's character Amal, due to a rivalry between their two families.
2. Ahmed in Ayyamna El-Helwa (Our Best Days) – 1955
In another Egyptian cinema classic, Sharif stars opposite Hamama and iconic Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez. He plays the love interest of Hamama's charcter Hoda in this romantic musical about the effect of love rivalries on friendships.
3. Hussein in Esha'et Hob (A Love Rumor) — 1960
In one of Egyptian cinema's most iconic romantic comedies, Sharif stars opposite iconic Egyptian actress Soad Hosny. He plays a firm manager in love with Hosny's character Samiha, whose own father tries to persuade her to choose Hussein through jealousy, by spreading a rumor about him being involved with famous Egyptian actress Hind Rostom.
4. Khalid in Nahr El-Hob (The River of Love) – 1960
In another one of Egyptian cinema's best films, based on Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Sharif stars opposite Hamama. In the romance, he plays the young officer who has an affair with Hamma's character Nawal, who is married to one of Egypt's most powerful pashas.
5. Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia – 1962
In the seven-time Oscar winning film, widely considered one of the greatest in the history of cinema, Sharif played the award-winning role that transformed him from a Middle Eastern star into an international star.
In the historical epic based on British military officer T.E. Lawrence's life, he plays an Arab tribal leader who guides Lawrence during his World War I experiences in the Middle East.
6. Yuri Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago – 1965
In another prominent historical epic from iconic British director David Lean, Sharif starred opposite Julie Christie in one of his most acclaimed performances. He plays the Russian physician from the novel of the same name whose love affair gets caught in the turbulent years of Russia's modern history.
7. Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl – 1968
In the romantic musical based on the life of iconic American entertainer Fanny Brice, Sharif starred opposite Barbra Streisand. He played the entrepreneur Brice fell in love with, as the film portrays their turbulent relationship.
8. Archduke Rudolf in Mayerling – 1968
In the romantic historical epic based on the novel of the same name, Sharif starred opposite Catherine Deneuve and Ava Gardner. He plays the Crown Prince of Austria whose relationship with Baroness Mary Vetsera remains one of history's most tragic love affairs.