Google Doodle is celebrating legendary actor Omar Sharif on April 10, which would have been his 86th birthday. Here’s what you need to know to get caught up to speed on Omar!
1. His breakout role was in Lawrence of Arabia. Omar had starred in a number of Egyptian films before being cast as Sherif Ali in the historical epic alongside Peter O’Toole and Alec Guinness. Omar’s performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Oscar nomination. Omar and the director of Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean, re-teamed for Doctor Zhivago in 1965. Omar was cast as Yuri Zhivago, the lead role. Omar won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance. Over the course of his career, Omar would star in films such as Funny Girl, Hildalgo, and more.
2. He could speak multiple languages. Omar was born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt. He was fluent in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, and Italian. His fluency with languages would serve him well in his career. He studied at Victoria College and graudated from Cairo University.
3. Omar never remarried after his first marriage ended in 1974. He met his first and only wife, Faten Hamama, while filming the movie The Blazing Sun. Faten had never been kissed on screen before, but she made an exception for Omar. They fell in love and married in 1954. Omar, who was then going by the name Michel, converted to Islam for Faten and changed his name to Omar Sharif. Omar and Faten made multiple movies together. They had one son, Tarek. They divorced in 1974. They died 6 months apart.
4. He was a world-class chess and bridge player. He wrote about bridge in a column for the Chicago Tribune and more, according to Newsweek.
5. He had Alzheimer’s disease. Omar’s agent confirmed it in 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported. He died of a heart attack on July 10, 2015.