People around the globe are always fascinated with the celebrity lifestyle. Big mansions, glitz, glamour, a slew of entertainment options – celebrities seem to have it all. But underneath the obvious allure, and huge savings accounts, most still live relatively simplistic lives and enjoy things you or I would.
With the World Series of Poker and its immense popularity, we see that many celebrities enjoy poker. Another card game some world icons enjoy playing is the ever popular bridge. Famous Arabian actor Omar Sharif is a former (allegedly) contract bridge fanatic.
Sharif was born as Michael Demitri Shalhoub April 10, 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt. The 78-year-old actor broke into the business in 1954 and released a number of popular local films, but hit the big-time in the 1960s with roles in mainstream movies like Lawrence of Arabia, Behold a Pale Horse, Funny Girl, and the cult classic Doctor Zhivago.
Omar’s love for bridge was developed at a very early age. As a young child in Egypt, Sharif’s family was very affluent. His father’s timber business was extremely lucrative, and even Farouk I, King of Egypt and Sudan, would visit Omar’s house regularly to play card games with his mother.
For a few decades, Omar was recognized the world over as being a very good and very frequent contract bridge player. He even lent his expertise to the Chicago Tribune for a number of years, writing a syndicated column. After that, it was on to co-authoring books about the game, and eventually, Sharif landed a contract and licensed his name out for an Amiga version bridge game in 1992.
Long before any online casino or Internet options for playing bridge, Omar’s game was available on fourth-generation home game consoles.
Omar claims that contract bridge has taken a back seat in the latter years of his life, but someone with such a passion for the game is sure to be sneaking a few deals in every now and again.