On Friday, Hollywood lost one of the greats in actor Omar Sharif. Like we do often when someone passes, we look back on their career and reminisce on their greatness. While Sharif’s name may not ring a bell right away for some, if you are a film lover you will remember him for his roles in two of Hollywood’s biggest epics, and for one of the best entrances in film history.
“Hidalgo” and “Top Secret”. While “Hidalgo” is a film you wouldn’t call great, it was the return of Sharif to a role that felt right enough to puts it on this list. As for “Top Secret”, it’s a favorite film from my childhood, and his turn as Agent Cedric was just perfect.
- Monsieur Ibrahim
Tells the story that involves a young boy who devolves a relationship with a Turkish storeowner. That shop’s owner is played by Sharif, who won a Ceasar for his performance.
- The Night of the Generals
Like many of his great films, the cast of actors he acts along side and often rises above is extraordinary. With Peter O’Toole, Tom Courtenay, and Donald Pleasence in the mix. While O’Toole’s performance is exquisite, it’s Sharif who as Major Grau that helps keeps it together.
- Funny Girl.
Whenever you think of this film, it is hard not to think of Barbra Streisand, but it is Sharif, who plays Nicky Arnstein that helps put it all together. Streisand would go on to receive an Oscar for her role, but Sharif helps make the film what it ended up being.
2. Doctor Zhivago
When you look up Hollywood epic in the dictionary you will see David Lean’s adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”. The movie tells the tale of a doctor and a poet, who falls in love with a woman all while surviving the first World War and the October Revolution. Sharif won a Golden Globe for his performance as well as the hearts of a million women.
- Lawrence of Arabia
There is not a more epic film then David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia”. While the film belongs to Peter O’Toole, it is the introduction of Sharif that feels just as memorable, including as mentioned above one of the greatest entrances in film history.
Rest in Peace Mr. Sharif