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Google Doodle celebrates birthday of late Egyptian actor Omar Sharif

Sharif, who died in 2015 at the age of 83, first made a name for himself in Egyptian cinema, later gaining international acclaim for his role in David Lean’s 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia

Ahram Online and AP, Tuesday 10 Apr 2018
Omar Sharif

Google celebrated the late Egyptian actor Omar Sharif on Tuesday, marking the 86th anniversary of his birth through its "Google Doodle" feature.

"Actor Omar Sharif made his indelible mark on Hollywood cinema without uttering a word," reads the Doodle. "Playing the Arab warrior Sherif Ali in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, Sharif first appears as a tiny dot on the desert horizon, growing larger as his camel gallops into the frame with Peter O’Toole."

The Doodle is viewable in all of the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, North America and some countries in Europe and South America, making it the most widespread Google Doodle commemorating an Egyptian star. Previous Doodles were aimed only at viewers in the MENA region.

Numerous British newspapers -- including The Times, The Sun, The Mirror and The Independent -- also reported on Sharif's birthday.

Sharif was born on 10 April 1932 as Michel Dimitri Chalhoub to Syrian-Lebanese parents. He died on 10 July 2015 at the age of 83.

His career includes over a hundred films, made both in Egypt and abroad.

Before rising to international fame, he was already well known in Egypt, working with several prominent Egyptian filmmakers, such as Youssef Chahine, Henry Barakat, Salah Abu Seif and Kamal El-Sheikh.

Considered one of the golden-age heroes of Egyptian cinema, many of his movies are carved in the minds of Egyptians and Arabs as pillars of classical cinema.

The long list includes: A Man in Our House (1961), A Love Rumour (1959), Struggle on the Nile (1959), The River of Love (1960) based on Tolstoy’s Anna Karanina, and the Lady of the Palace (1958).

His international fame followed his role in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962), which earned him his Oscar nomination.

For his role in Dr Zhivago (1965), Sharif won a Golden Globe Award for best actor.

Sharif's other international films also include Doctor Zhivago (1965), Che, Marco the Magnificent, Ghenghis Khan, and Funny Girl (1968), and Hidalgo.

"Happy 86th birthday, Omar Sharif!" concludes the Google Doodle's team.

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