Friday, 10 July 2015


The news broke today, the 10th of July 2015, that Michel Demitri Chalhoub had died - the name means little to many, much to few, but the man it represents means so much more: his assumed name was Omar Sharif. The Academy Award nominated actor suffered a heart attack in a Cairo hospital, aged 83. A celebrated figure of classic cinema dating back to the 1950s, he will naturally be best remembered for his iconic roles in David Lean's '60s epics Lawrence of Arabia, for which he was Oscar-nominated and also won a Golden Globe, and Doctor Zhivago, in which his lead turn secured him a second Globe in four years. Additionally, Sharif won both an Audience Award and a Career Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival in 2003, though his impressive roster of trophies over his career says far less than the memory of that career, with films such as Genghis Khan, Funny Girl and Funny Lady cementing his status as a star of the screen, and a heartthrob for the ages. His ex-wife, fellow actor Faten Hamama, died earlier this year, on the 17th of January; Sharif is survived by their son, Tarek El-Sharif. Film fans will remember his unforgettable screen appearances for many years to come.