Omar Sharif: Memorable Scenes From an Expansive Film Career

Omar Sharif Ace Up My Sleeve - H 2015
Courtesy Everett Collection

Omar Sharif Ace Up My Sleeve - H 2015

From 'Lawrence of Arabia,' and 'Doctor Zhivago' through to 'Top Secret!'

Omar Sharif, the Egyptian screen idol who died on Friday at the age of 83 following a heart attack, will forever be associated with the sweeping epics of David Lean produced towards the end of Hollywood's Golden Age.

From a career spanning over half a century, here's a selection of clips from some of Sharif's most memorable roles.

Lawrence of Arabia
Already a cinema star in his native Egypt, Lean brought Sharif on board for his multi Oscar-winning 1962 epic alongside Peter O'Toole. His triumphant arrival on the sand dunes as Bedouin guide Sherif Ali, the first time many in Hollywood will have laid eyes on the young actor, is still considered among the most impressive screen debuts.

Doctor Zhivago
By the time he had his first lead role in Lean's 1965 drama, Sharif was already well on the way to become a global sex symbol. His portrayal of the Russian poet-doctor who falls in love with Julie Christie only cemented this appreciation.

Funny Girl
Sharif famously landed himself in the center of a storm over this 1968 romantic musical, sparking anger in the Arab press following a kiss with the Jewish Barbra Streisand as the Six Day War saw tensions between Israel and Egypt hit new highs. Some even called for his Egyptian citizenship to be revoked.

Top Secret!
A marked departure from his earlier fare, in 1984 Sharif found himself opposite a youthful Val Kilmer (in his first feature) in this David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker pre-Naked Gun WWII Cold War spy parody.

Rock The Kasbah
Sharif's final film was this 2013 French-Moroccan drama from Laïla Marrakchi, in which he had a small but crucial role: the deceased patriarch who's passing brings his family together.