Michael Shalhoub was born in Alexandra, Egypt on April 10, 1932. He is best known for his portrayal in Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 and the starring role in Doctor Zhivago in 1965. Originally part of his family"s lumber business, after graduating in mathematics and physics from Cairo University, he decided to take up acting and was a star in Egyptian cinema. He married Egyptian actress Faten Hamama in 1955 and immediately converted to Islam and took the name Omar al-Sharif. They had one son. Sharif and Hamama divorced in 1974.
In the 1960's Sharif was one of the world' best known contract bridge players. He wrote a syndicated newspaper column for the Chicago Tribune and wrote several books on bridge. In 2006 he stopped playing bridge to devote more time to his career, horses, gambling and family. In 2003 he was played an elderly shopkeeper in Monsieur Ibrahim, a French film. Sharif received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival and a British Cesar. Sharif has also publish his autobiography, The Eternal Male in 1977.
In 1968 he starred in Funny Girl and in 1974 The Tamarind Seed, Return to Eden in 1982 and The Mirror has Two Faces in 1996. He was in One Night with the King in 2005 and appeared in the 1996 production of Gulliver's Travels. You can also see Sharif in Hidalgo, Peter the Great and The Last Valley.
Sheriff has a bit of a high temper. He has been arrested for head butting an officer, slapping a clerk, punching a parking attendant and hitting a woman at the Qatar Film Festival.