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Thread: Omar Sharif has Alzheimer's

  1. #1
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Default Omar Sharif has Alzheimer's

    He seduced a string of beauties but lost his one true love - and his fortune. As it's revealed Omar Sharif has Alzheimer's...CHRISTOPHER STEVENS on the lonely life of Hollywood's Sultan of seduction

    • Egyptian starred in epics including Lawrence Of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago
    • Son Tareq announced this week his 83-year-old father has Alzheimer's
    • Sharif divorced Tareq's mother, actress Faten Hamama, in 1965, though she was the 'love of his life' and 'no other women won his heart'
    • This despite affairs with beauties including Catherine Deneuve, Barbra Streisand and Barbara Bouchet

    PUBLISHED: 00:24, 25 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:15, 25 May 2015

    The story of Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, star of epics including Lawrence Of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, is perhaps the saddest, loneliest tale in all of movie history.
    After a life filled with losses, at the weekend his son Tareq announced the latest tragedy: that his 83-year-old father has Alzheimer’s disease.
    But it has also been a life overflowing with wealth, adoration and affairs with the world’s most desirable women.
    Sharif squandered his good fortune — with divorce from the only woman he ever truly loved, an illegitimate child he refused to acknowledge, millions lost at the gaming tables, a glittering career abandoned and outbursts of violence.


    Famous lover: Omar Sharif with Julie Andrews in The Tamarind Seed. It has now been announced the 83-year-old has Alzheimer's


    Continuing after the cameras stopped: Sharif had a relationship with Barbra Streisand when he worked with her on the musical Funny Girl


    Fading: Sharif at the Chain of Hope Gala Ball in London in November. He squandered his good fortune, divorcing the only woman he ever truly loved

    The harshest irony of all is that, to the public, it always appeared as if he had the most enviable existence. After decades spent living alone in luxury hotels in Paris or London, staying up till 5am every night at the casino or the bar, the actor has now returned to Egypt.
    But this is no homecoming: he still lives in a hotel, at a Red Sea tourist resort. His life, it seems, is as rootless and lonely as ever.
    Sharif was born Michel Chalhoub in Alexandria, in 1932. His father Joseph was a rich timber merchant, but it was his glamorous mother who would set the course of his life.
    Claire Chalhoub was a flamboyant gambler, notorious as the only woman who could match Egypt’s billionaire King Farouk for high stakes.
    She was far from maternal: aged ten, Sharif was sent to boarding school, Cairo’s snobbish Victoria College, where Claire hoped the harsh regime and basic diet would make him lose his puppy fat.
    It was the school’s theatre that would prove his inspiration. He played the title character in his first production, The Invisible Duke, concealed in a box on stage for most of the play. The thrill when he surprised the audience by bursting out had him addicted from the start.
    Joseph Chalhoub was aghast to hear that his son wanted to be an actor. When he forbade it, the teenager staged a suicide bid — slashing his wrists, though later he was adamant he had not really intended to kill himself.
    By now, the would-be star was already a ladies’ man, selling his possessions if he couldn’t cadge money from his parents to take girlfriends to dinner.


    Happy families: Sharif with his wife of 13 years Faten Hamama and their son Tareq. The pair divorced in 1965 because he did not feel her could be faithful to her

    He had applied to the London drama school RADA, when in 1954 he landed a part in an Arabic film called The Blazing Sun, after the leading lady took a shine to him.
    Faten Hamama was the most famous actress in Egypt, but she had never been kissed on screen before. The young lothario chose Omar Sharif as a pseudonym, to spare his father’s embarrassment.
    The kiss provoked a national sensation. Raised in the Greek Catholic church, Omar converted to Islam, so that he and the Muslim Faten could marry. Over the next seven years they made more than a dozen movies together.
    But the relationship fell apart in 1962 when Sharif was cast as Sherif Ali in Lawrence Of Arabia. Director David Lean hired him, not for his acting, but for his liquid brown irises — a perfect contrast to the star Peter O’Toole’s glittering blue eyes. Sharif’s first appearance, shimmering out of the desert haze, won countless admirers.
    But the attention destroyed his marriage. Convinced that he would not have the strength to remain faithful, he told Faten that he wanted a divorce — while she was still young enough, he said, to remarry.
    They separated in 1965. He always described her as ‘the love of my life’ and often declared that no other woman ever won his heart. Faten was not so romantic or self-destructive — she married again, to a doctor.
    A string of short-lived romances followed. Sharif was linked to actresses Tuesday Weld and Diane McBain, and to Hollywood veteran Ingrid Bergman.
    In 1968, he worked with Barbra Streisand on the musical Funny Girl. ‘I thought she was not very attractive at first,’ he remembered. ‘But gradually she cast her spell over me. I fell madly in love with her talent. The feeling was mutual for four months — the time it took to shoot the movie.’

    Lawrence of Arabia starring Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole


    The role which made him: Sharif with Peter O'Toole in the title role in David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia

    Streisand blamed the heady romance of the film. ‘It’s hard to stop loving someone when the director yells cut,’ she said. ‘Fact and fiction got mixed up, and I think we both lost our heads for a while.’
    Later that year he was starring opposite Catherine Deneuve in the historical drama Mayerling, and another on-screen love affair spilled over into real life.
    ‘I realised that I couldn’t have been in love,’ he said, ‘because it didn’t hurt when the relationships finished.’ A short relationship with actress Barbara Bouchet followed, after she posed nearly naked in Playboy magazine.
    By now, though, all Sharif cared about was pocketing fees for roles, however dire, so he could pursue his twin passions — playing bridge and breeding racehorses.
    ‘I don’t think I could live without a deck of cards in my hands,’ he declared, when asked on BBC radio’s Desert Island Discs in 1978 what luxury he would need most as a castaway. But the cards and the casinos were bankrupting him.
    After losing £750,000 in one night at roulette, he was forced to sell his house in Paris, and announced: ‘I don’t own anything at all apart from a few clothes. I’m all alone and completely broke. Everything could have been so different if only I had found the right woman.’
    His gambling addiction, he admitted, was madness, but he could not stop. He blamed boredom, and the loneliness of living out of a suitcase. His agent became used to Sharif’s desperate calls, demanding work so that he could pay urgent debts.
    Often, the actor even had to reverse the call charges. But however many shoddy movies he made, he was always ‘one film behind my debts’.


    Empty: Sharif with Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago. He once said: ‘I realised that I couldn’t have been in love, because it didn’t hurt when the relationships finished'

    He hated the roles. Though he could act in six languages — English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Greek — he had an accent in all of them, and so was always cast as ‘a foreigner’: a Sultan, a Spanish priest, a Mexican cowboy, or Genghis Khan.
    In 1999, when an Italian journalist claimed he was the father of her son Ruben, born in 1969, he reacted coldly: ‘I had a very brief affair — I’m speaking of minutes.
    'I don’t consider him to be my son, although I concede that he was probably produced by a sperm of mine. But then it is possible that I might have 100,000 sons.
    ‘In those days, men never bothered with contraception. We assumed, rightly or wrongly, that the woman was on the Pill. The boy looks exactly like me, but his mother used me as a sperm donor. I am not his father.’
    He did, however, dote on Tareq, his son with Faten. And he adored his grandchildren, whose mockery of his dreadful films made him ditch acting in the mid-Nineties.
    Gambling was not so easy to renounce. After losing more than £20,000 at the Enghien-les-Bains casino in Paris in 2003, he headbutted a policeman and was given a suspended prison sentence.
    It wasn’t the first time he had been threatened with jail for his temper: he was arrested in Greece for smashing up a restaurant.
    At a hotel car park in Beverly Hills, he brawled with an attendant, while four years ago he lashed out at a female fan who was badgering him for a photograph.


    Gambler: Sharif spent decades spent living alone in luxury hotels in Paris or London, staying up till 5am every night at the casino or the bar

    But his womanising was over. He had quit a 100-a-day cigarette habit, too, following a heart attack in his hotel room in 1994: as he collapsed on the bed in Paris’s George V hotel, in agony, he was unable to think of anyone he could call for help.
    He still had a reputation as an insatiable lover but the truth, he said, was more mundane: usually, he preferred to go for a walk.
    ‘There are moments when I’m happy, but others when I’m not,’ he told this newspaper in 1999.
    ‘Maybe some people have better lives than me. I hope they do.’
    In 2012 he turned 80. He slipped into a melancholy routine: sleep till noon, bathe and walk the streets of Paris on his own. ‘I have no friends in Paris,’ he said last year. ‘I want someone to take me out in the evenings.’
    His career enjoyed a brief resurgence with films such as Monsieur Ibrahim in 2003, which won him a César (the French Oscar), but by then he was dogged by rumours of dementia.
    Sharif denied having Alzheimer’s, but when Faten died in January, aged 83, their son Tareq was forced to confront the final tragedy of his father’s life.
    He broke the news of her death to Sharif, who reacted with deep grief. A few days later, the old man had forgotten. ‘How is Faten?’ he asked.
    Sharif is said to be aware that he was an actor, but can no longer distinguish one film from another.
    The last great romantic idol of cinema is fading away. But Streisand spoke for millions of women when she looked back on their whirlwind affair: ‘He was one hell of a guy.’

    Read more: Hollywood's Sultan of seductionÂ*Omar Sharif by CHRISTOPHER STEVENS | Daily Mail Online

    Brookie likes this.
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  2. #2
    Elite Member BelledeJour's Avatar
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    So sad - I feel sorry for him and his family.

  3. #3
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    My grandmother was in love with him. Such a sad lonely life he's had.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    In the "D"


    He was a beautiful man, looks wise.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

    - Mark Twain

  5. #5
    A*O is offline
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    Divorcing his wife because he didn't think he could be faithful to her is either very gallant or very douchey. Can't decide which.

    O/T Peter O'Toole was a golden GOD in Lawrence of Arabia. Swoon.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

  6. #6
    Elite Member Witchywoman's Avatar
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    I'd like to age like sea glass.


    His son disserved better than that, doesn't sound like he was a straight up guy to me.

  7. #7
    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    I'm loving the picture with Julie Andrews...he looks damned hot.

    Sorry to hear he is ailing. I had read where he'd blown through most of his money gambling. What a waste.
    "I am a social vegan; I avoid meet!” Anonymous Introvert

  8. #8
    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    far and away


    Fabulous interview with Peter O'Toole on the Letterman show (w/camel) talking about the hijinks of he and Omar Sharif during the making of Lawrence of Arabia. O'Toole has to be one of the wittiest men ever, he is sorely missed.

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  9. #9
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Burning Down Your Windmill


    I was madly in love with Peter O'Toole.
    spiderpig, Alysheba and azoria like this.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Kathie_Moffett's Avatar
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    just another freak in the freak kingdom


    Me too. Those eyes, that voice, that blond hair. Rahr.

    The Letterman interview was hysterical. And never did anyone make a better entrance.

    Sharif's life sounds sad and lonely, but very much by his choice, and it also sounds like he had a lot of wild and fun times. I just wish he could have gotten treatment for his gambling problem. I think I hate that addiction worst of all. It's so brutal in every imaginable way.
    Did you know that every time a parent gives in to their kid's whines and buys them candy at the checkout lane, a kitten gets diabetes?-Dlisted
    I dislike groups of people, but I love individuals. Every person you look at, you can see the universe in their eyes, if you're really looking.
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