THE 13TH WARRIOR
OMAR SHARIF (Melchisidek) is the acclaimed and legendary star of more than 60 motion pictures in an extraordinary career spanning over four decades
OMAR SHARIF (Melchisidek)
is the acclaimed and legendary star of more than 60 motion pictures
in an extraordinary career spanning over four decades. He vaulted
to international stardom while starring in two of David Lean's
sweeping epics. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best
Supporting Actor and won the Golden Globe Award for co-starring
as Peter O'Toole's friend, Ali Ibn Kharish, in Lawrence of
Arabia. He then won a second Golden Globe Award for Best Actor,
starring in the title role as the Russian poet/doctor in Doctor
Sharif is also well known for his starring role opposite Barbra
Streisand in her Academy Award-winning debut as Fanny Brice in
Funny Girl, as well as in its sequel, Funny Lady.
His film credits also include The Fall of the Roman Empire,
Marco Polo, Behold a Pale Horse, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, Genghis
Khan, The Night of the Generals, Mayerling, MeKenna's Gold, The
Appointment, Che!, The Horsemen, The Last Valley, Juggernaut,
The Tamarind Seed, Ashanti, Sidney Sheldon's Bloodline, Crime
and Passion, The Baltimore Bullet, Oh, Heavenly Dog.! Pleasure
Palace, Green Ice, Chanel Solitaire, Inchon, and a cameo role
opposite Val Kilmer in the spoof Top Secret! He has also
recently starred in The Rainbow Thief, Ice Paradise, the
forthcoming Heaven Before I Die, and in the telefilms Mrs.
'Arris Goes to Paris and Gulliver's Travels with Ted
Sharif is the only Egyptian to have become an international film
star, and he has played characters of almost every nationality
in the Western world. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt as Michael
Shalboub, the son of a wealthy timber merchant, and of Lebanese
and Syrian parentage. He spoke only French during his early childhood
years, but later learned to speak six languages fluently.
He studied mathematics and physics at Victoria College in Cairo,
where he also became interested in acting. After graduation, Sharif
worked in his father's timber importing business for five years,
yet longed to apply to England's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
In 1953 he was nearing a positive parental response to his persuasiveness
when he was offered the lead in the Egyptian film The Blazing
Sun, starring opposite Faten Hamama, who was then the top
female star in the area. He took the name Omar El-Sharif when
he starred in the film- later dropping the El when he entered
international films- and critical praise and nominations followed
for the film's debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Four years later,
Sharif returned to Cannes starring in award-winning Goha.
Sharif became the country's number one star and idol. He went
on to star in 26 Egyptian and two French films over the next several
years, also establishing his own production company in Cairo.
He had just paid a record price for an Egyptian best-seller when
he was cast in Lawrence of Arabia, changing the course
of his life.
On stage, Sharif has starred in a revival of Terrence Rattigan's
famous play, The Sleeping Prince, at the Chichester Festival
Theatre in Sussex, England.
His numerous television performances include the telefilms "The
Far Pavilions" for HBO, "Vicious Circle" for the
BBC, "Peter the Great" for ABC, and "Anastasia:
The Mystery of Anna" for NBC, as well as "S*H*E,"
"Grand Larceny" "Lion in
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