The Egyptian actor who gained international fame, Omar Sharif, is being celebrated on Google Doodle today, which would have been his 86th birthday.

Sharif’s claim to fame was his first international appearance as Sherif Ali in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. Sharif’s role landed him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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Sharif was born on April 10, 1932 as Michael Dimitri Shalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt. He had always excelled academically, he studied in British Victoria College and received a math and physics degree from the University of Cairo. He also later became fluent in English, Italian, French, Spanish and Arabic.

However, Sharif wanted to pursue a career in the arts. Much to his father’s disapproval, he left to London after he got accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He then became a star in Egypt during the 1950’s, which led to him marrying Egyptian actress Faten Hamama.

Lawrence of Arabia as Sharif’s first English-speaking role, the film went to become a huge success, scoring ten Oscar nominations. Following his big break in Hollywood, Sharif went on to star in The Fall of the Roman Empire.

Sharif then landed the titular role in Doctor Zhivago, which was an adaption of Boris Pasternak’s Nobel prize-winning novel directed by David Lean. He constantly impressed the industry for his ability to not conform to stereotypes, he ranged from playing Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia to an American gambler in Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand.

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After winning three Golden Globes for his roles in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, his acting career began to decline, which led to unsuccessful gambling. He began to reflect back on his life and saw that things would have been differently if he never reached international stardom. However, he ultimately did not regret his life choices in pursuing acting. He lived his life not having any regrets. He famously said, “I don’t know the meaning of the word. If I was back there again, I would do it the same way. Luckily, not everything I did was rubbish for money. I have had some great moments.”

Sharif began to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease in May 2015, then died of a heart attack two months later on July 10, 2015. His funeral was held two days later at the Grand Mosque of Mushir Tantawi in eastern Cairo.

Sharif’s Google Doodle was made by Sophie Diao, a guest artist for Google.

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