Ladies of a certain age will remember swooning over him in Dr. Zhivago
Omar Sharif, the legendary actor who burst on to the U.S. film scene with his role in "Lawrence of Arabia," died today in a hospital in Cairo after he suffered a heart attack, his agent told FOX411. He was 83.
Sharif earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1962 film, his first English-language role. He won the Golden Globe that year for Best Supporting Actor and New Star of the Year. Still Sharif, who was Egypt’s biggest box-office star when director David Lean cast him, was not the director’s first choice to play Sherif Ali, the tribal leader with whom the enigmatic T.E. Lawrence teams up to help lead the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. […]
Three years later, Sharif demonstrated his versatility, playing the leading role of a doctor-poet who endures decades of Russian history, including World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, surviving on his art and his love for his beloved Lara in “Dr. Zhivago.”
Lean’s adaptation of the Boris Pasternak novel had a rocky beginning in its first U.S. release. Attendance was sparse and reviews were negative.
After MGM removed it from theaters and Lean re-edited the sprawling tale, it was re-released and became a box-office hit. Still, Sharif never thought it was as good as it could have been.
“It’s sentimental. Too much of that music,” he once said, referring to Maurice Jarre’s luscious Oscar-winning score.