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Omar Sharif Passed Away

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Mark Lyndon, in70mm.com's London Correspondent Date: 11.07.2015
Omar Sharif on the set of "Doctor Zhivago" in Spain. Mr. Sharif was born in 1932 and was to become one of the greatest movie stars. Sharif was born Michel Dimitri Shalhoub in Alexandria to a Melkite Greek Catholic family from Lebanon, though he later converted to Islam. He and his wife had one son, who appeared in “Dr. Zhivago” as a young version of Sharif’s title character. He is survived by a son, Tarek El-Sharif, and two grandsons, Omar Sharif Jr., an actor, and Karim. Omar Sharif passed away 10 July, 2015. was 83.

By the time Omar Sharif made the most dramatic and compelling entrance in film history and thereby entered the Pantheon of the greatest screen actors of all time, he had already made 22 features, starting with "The Devil of the Sahara" in 1954, all of eight years earlier.

He was to create more than 117 screen rôles in a career which will continue into the future with the forthcoming release of "1001 Inventions and The World of Ibn Al-Haytham".

His 65/70 mm career spanned the best part of three decades, from "Lawrence of Arabia" in 1962 to the IMAX documentary "Mysteries of Ancient Egypt", via "The Fall of the Roman Empire", the immortal "Doctor Zhivago", "Genghis Khan", "Funny Girl", "Funny Lady", "Mackenna's Gold", "Mayerling", "The Horsemen", "The Last Valley" and "The Mountains of the Moon".

Super Panavision 70, Todd AO, Super Cinerama, IMAX 15/70, he worked in them all. What other stars can match this record? And yet he reproached himself with leading a dissolute life, in a candid interview with the BBC. Today, on July 10th 2015, he dominates the front page of The London Times.

A few words about his most famous rôles and we must bid him a very fond farewell. For 70mm aficionados, "Lawrence of Arabia", regarded by many as the greatest film ever made, was a true triumph of the art and science of cinema. It is worth reading the
article about the ultra long lens which captured the greatest screen entrance of all time, right here in70mm.com.

"Doctor Zhivago", was a rôle which made him the brightest star in the film firmament, adored and idolised by millions. David Lean maintained that he always wanted principal photography for "Zhivago" to be in 65mm, nothing less would do.

Sadly, the bean counters won that battle.

He left this world, like his great Zhivago, after a fatal heart attack.
More in 70mm reading:

The Passing of Peter O'Toole

in70mm.com Remembers

The Latest Word From METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER on DAVID LEAN’S Film of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. From The Novel By Boris Pasternak

Some Notes on Shooting "Lawrence of Arabia"

"The Last Valley", Austrian 70mm Premiere

Taking a Mini View in a Maxi Way

There Were Giants in the Land: Freddie Young

Internet link:

The Guardian
Der Spiegel

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Updated 07-01-23