The Best Of Omar Sharif
A Tribute by FF2 Associate Jarrod Emerson
One of the most memorable entrances for an actor comes from the classic 1962 film Lawrence Of Arabia. It’s World War I, and British soldier T.E. Lawrence has been commissioned to report on the English aide to the Arabs in their ongoing revolt against Turks.
En route to his new post, Lawrence and his guide stop to drink from a desert well. Suddenly, a mysterious black-cloaked figure approaches on camel back through the heat waves, gradually growing in size. Panicked, the guide runs for his pistol and takes aim, only to be fatally shot by the cloaked figure. The figure then reveals his face and introduces himself to a fearful Lawrence as “Sheriff Ali,” explaining that it is his well, and the guide was not entitled to use it.
This spine-tingling introduction is but one of many great moments for the legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, who tragically died of a heart attack last July in Cairo at age 83. His Academy-Award nominated turn as Sheriff Ali was only the beginning for Sharif.
Trained at London’s Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art, Sharif not only possessed an intensity few attain, but could manifest almost any emotion. From those liquid brown eyes and hard jawline, Sharif managed to emit everything from rage, dedication, and romance to fatherly love in his various roles. While he always displayed sincerity and authenticity, Sharif managed to never repeat himself throughout his seven-decade career.
The world will never forget his many contributions to cinema throughout an illustrious six-decade career.
The following four films are a true testament to Sharif’s ability as a performer, so click on each link below to read my assessment of his contribution to each one:
1: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
2: DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
3: FUNNY GIRL (1968)
4: MONSIEUR IBRAHIM (2003)
MY BOTTOM LINE
The world has lost a rare breed of actor in Sharif. Handsome, intense and raw, Sharif’s talent transcended genre and time, as he succeeded in bringing to life some of the greatest characters ever committed to celluloid. In short He will never be forgotten.
© Jarrod Emerson (3/24/16) FF2 Media