He’s been on my mind lately. One of the sadder phenomena of aging is that when you get close to fifty, all the stars of your youth begin to pass away. Omar Sharif was a Hollywood supernova. I only know a few of his films, but investigating his work, I find myself amazed all over again at his beauty, and the many stunning women with whom he was paired over a long career.
Appropriately for a native of that cosmopolitan country Egypt, Sharif spoke six languages and made movies all over the world. His last work was the narration for a short film about Arabian scientific pioneer Ibn Al-Haytham (2015). And the last thing I remember him in is Hidalgo (2004) with Viggo Mortensen (mmmmm…) where he played the connoisseur of Arabian horses, Sheikh Riyadh.
Sharif was known as a lover of women, and he had many affairs but only one great love and one wife, the Egyptian film star Faten Hamama. She died in January of this year.
Besides Zhivago, I remember Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia as Sherif Ali, the leader of the Harith, who represents the Arab desire for nationhood. He was based on a character who appeared in T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
He also had a great role as Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl (1968) with Barbra Streisand (the two are said to have had an affair while filming).
And these are the films I’d like to see but haven’t…
Actor Pedro Pascal from Game of Thrones (Oberyn Martell) reminds me of the young Omar. Not quite as handsome, but there is a definite resemblance.
Finally, I’ve not seen The Tamarind Seed, a Blake Edwards spy drama in which Sharif starred with Julie Andrews. He played a Soviet military attaché who has an affair with Andrews’ character, who works in the British Home Office.
I have not seen the last of you, Beautiful Man. Thanks for giving me so much to look forward to.
Hmmmm… OS…. a typical case of I-can-see-what-the-fuss-is-about-but-he-just-doesn’t-to-it-for-me. Too dark, too angular, too creepy-looking. He is the vendor who brushes your butt while he’s trying to sell you some crap you don’t want. Urgh. Sorry, totally irrational, I know, but that’s my gut response 😉
Oh Simone, too bad. Well, as they say, more for us!
Indeed. I shall leave the swarthier specimens to you 🙂
I’ll have Viggo Mortensen 😉
Even more so when he’s Aragorn 🙂
I liked him as Sigmund Freud. Definitely a very sexy Freud, but also surprisingly convincing.
Must seek that one out!
A Dangerous Method (2011). It has the added bonus of The Fassbender as Carl Jung, giving in to Keira Knightley’s need to be lingeringly punished…. the scene where he whips her is actually not that sexy, but he is GORGEOUS.
I wouldn’t mind punishing Keira Knightley. She’s such a drip 😉
Hahaha! Her character in the movie was extremely annoying!
I find her annoying in most things 😉
Viggo is highly desirable 🙂
My philosophy is to find something Beautiful in all of them. Sometimes it’s a challenge, but it’s always good fun.
And I wholeheartedly applaud your objective – your posts certainly are great fun to read 🙂
Thanks! So many Beautiful Men, so little time….
Oh, thank you for this! He’s been on my mind as well and it’s nice to see these images and read your comments!
I re-watched Dr. Zhivago for him a few days ago and also The Tamarind Seed, which is a spy movie but also a very romantic movie. And yes, I think the last thing I saw him in was in Hidalgo as well, during my Viggo Mortensen crush days. I’ve always had a soft spot for Sharif and his beautiful soulful eyes. And that picture with Sophia Loren, he looks just – mmmmm. 🙂
Oh, and PS – I can’t quite love Pedro Pascal as he was Patrick Jane’s rival for Teresa Lisbon’s affections in “The Mentalist”. 😉
Thanks for the comments, Esther! You have confirmed my need to watch “Tamarind Seed.” As for Pedro, I didn’t see him in “The Mentalist” but I was quite sad at his demise in GoT because his character was one of the few interesting ones left!
Pedro Pascal makes me swoon.
Yeah, he is loaded with charisma.
Betty would vehementally disagree with “lady” — and after (of course, Lawrence when it first came out) and FunnyGirl, she immediately knew HOO-IT-WUZZ when we saw Hidalgo. i like him too.
Thank you! I love movies where they bring in famous actors from the old days–legends. It brings something special to a film, a depth that would not otherwise be there.
This is lovely. Both Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia are in my top list of films. I haven’t seen either film for a bit, except that Lawrence of Arabia was at the Cineramo Dome in 70mm for which I feel blssed that I was able to experience. That art & format are gone and I fear that only its digital incarnation will ever be shown again there.
Oh, Lawrence is a perfect one to see on a big screen, isn’t it? And not one of those shoeboxes they call a cinema these days, but a true movie palace screen. I don’t know if I could appreciate the difference between real film and digital, but it would be interesting to compare them in the same venue.
I see that particular viewing as a once in a lifetime experience now, with the hope that there will be others.
Yes, exactly. At the moment I’m watching the Branagh Hamlet movie and it looks to be another that would benefit from a really big screen.
Hadn’t finished, sorry. That is the Cinerama Dome, on Sunset, which is a great way to see a film in a Hollywood theater. For that film in particular, it is important to see in wide screen. On smaller formats—especially television—the best actor/character entrance ever in the history of films gets lost, even when they scan. His entrance was truly grand.
I’ve had to stop watching Dr. Zhivago because I just become an emotional wreck & liquified mess by the end.
LOL, just what I was trying to express, re the big screen. I love your point about his entrance!
I am not one for tearjerker movies, preferring happy endings, but Zhivago is a romantic film in a million.
I often cry with the opening music before it even begins. Isn’t that pathetic?
Hahaha! I find that I cry more now I’m older. Maybe it is hormones 🙂
Beautiful man indeed. I loved him in Funny Girl. Those eyes could tell a thousand stories.
Oh yes, I believe they could 🙂 Of a thousand women, no doubt!
Oh, wow, Linnet. I’m a bit all swoony from this side of the screen. He truly is one of those beautiful men.
More than a Miracle is a film I MUST hunt down. Spanish hunk of ohmygod.
And, of course, like millions of others, Funny Girl was a blockbuster favorite of mine. And I’d love to see the Tamarind Seed–I’ve never heard of it, and I thought I’d seen all of Julie Andrews films with Edwards at the helm.
Thanks for the magical eye candy today, and the great suggestions!
Yes, I think the films of the 70s have been sadly neglected except for the blockbusters like Star Wars and the violent things like Serpico. Blake Edwards is a great example of someone whose work should be seen more often.
That picture of “The Tamarind seed” is simply gorgeous. I must watch again Doctor Zhivago.He coincided with Sophia Loren also in “The Fall of the Roman Empire”, although in that film I just have eyes for Stephen Boyd and Christopher Plummer.
As you say, there’s nothing that reminds me the course of time like the passing of all those big stars that accompanied our childhood.
I don’t think I have even seen “The Fall of the Roman Empire.” I had better add that to my list, which is already a mile long!
Not an easy watch, very long and sometimes rather slow. But Plummer and Boyd are magnificient, not to talk of the rest of the cast. Moreover, you can’t help watching it and smirk in front of the many scenes “borrowed” by Sir Ridley Scott from that film in Gladiator. 🙂
Ah, it is amazing how many filmmakers quote “Gladiator.” I’m interested to learn that they are quotes of quotes!
I seem to be the only man commenting here. I remember seeing Lawrence of Arabia as a kid. My dad, who knew a true movie star when he saw one, pointed at the screen and whispered that Omar was one to watch. He was right.
Linnet, how about the late Christopher Lee? I’d be interested to hear what all you ladies have to say about that swarthy old gent 🙂
Oh, he was wonderful. That voice! It is a shame he was typecast as a villain, but I can see why because he was so good at it. My favorite role is the fanatical Templar Beaumanoir in “Ivanhoe.” And my favorite movie title is “The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism”!!
Well that was fabulous. Have you seen “The Tamarind Seed” since you wrote this…I think you’ll like it! Very charismatic man and actor – great post and tribute!
Thanks–No, I still haven’t but “Tamarind” is on my list to check out. I need to see whether it can be streamed.