Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor best known for starring in films such as Lawrence of Arabia, would have been 86 today

By Jodi Guglielmi
April 10, 2018 11:47 AM

Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor best known for starring in classic films like Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, would have been 86 today. Google celebrated the late actor’s birthday with a Doodle on Tuesday.

So who is the international star depicted in a dashing Google animation?

Zak Hussein/Getty

Omar Sharif in 2013

After beginning his acting career as a teenager in Egypt and appearing in more than a dozen movies, he was catapulted to international stardom with his breakout role in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.

Playing the Arab warrior Sherif Ali, the actor made one of cinema’s most memorable entrances as he emerged from the horizons galloping on a camel. The role earned him his first Golden Globe award.

After proving himself in English-speaking roles, Sharif quickly became one of the first actors from the Arab world to dominate the silver screen.

His striking good looks, charisma and ability to speak multiple languages helped him land a handful of notable roles including the titular part in Doctor Zhivago, which earned him an Oscar nomination.

Denis Cameron/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Omar Sharif

Sharif eventually become known for playing the exotic leading man in roles such as The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Genghis Khan (1965) and a big-time gambler in Funny Girl (1968).

Off-screen, Sharif married Egyptian actress Faten Hamama but they later divorced.

“It gave me glory, but it gave me loneliness also,” Sharif said of his career in a 2007 interview.

He died of a heart attack in 2015 at his home in Cairo, Egypt. He was 83.