Omar Sharif – gone from the stage

Memories Incomplete of Omar Sharif

My first recollection of Omar Sharif was his role alongside Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia in the early 60’s. While the world applauded O’Toole as Lawrence, Sharif as the enigmatic Sharif Ali was the perfect foil and an equally wonderful performer – elegant and exotic, rifle at the ready, charging in from the desert on his dark bay horse (or was it a camel?).

This may have been the first sighting by most of the non-arabic film-going public of Omar Sharif, then in his early 30’s,but it certainly was not the last. The proud bearing and handsome features of Omar Sharif filled the screens in a number of leading roles. But the one I recall most after Sharif Ali was from the late 1960’s when my then girlfriend (and subsequent lovingly loyal first wife) and I thrilled to the movie Dr Zhivago, without realising in advance that the movie contained in its acting list a selection of the greatest film actors of the 20th century. The two faces I recall were those of Omar Sharif as Pasternak’s Dr Yuri Zhivago and the soft and beautiful features of Julie Christie.

The memories last of images of travel in the snow and desperate searches by Zhivago for his love in the streets, trains and stations of Russia. These images have lasted the nearly 50 years since, possibly because the wedding waltz we chose in May 1969 was the theme to Dr Zhivago – ‘Somewhere My Love’:

Somewhere, my love, there will be songs to sing
Although the snow covers the hopes of Spring
Somewhere a hill blossoms in green and gold
And there are dreams, all that your heart can hold
Someday we’ll meet again, my love
Someday whenever the Spring breaks through

You’ll come to me out of the long-ago
Warm as the wind, soft as the kiss of snow
Till then, my sweet, think of me now and then
Godspeed, my love, till you are mine again

Someday we’ll meet again, my love
I said “someday whenever that Spring breaks through”

You’ll come to me out of the long-ago
Warm as the wind, and as soft as the kiss of snow
Till then, my sweet, think of me now and then
Godspeed, my love, till you are mine again!

Vale!

(This article is published under licence from Energitismo Limited)