Monthly Archives: March 2004
His good looks made him an acting superstar, but he lost a fortune at bridge, slipped into artistic mediocrity – and even gave up women. Now aged 72, are things finally looking up for Omar Sharif?
It is the custom to send a woman to interview Omar Sharif. His reputation as a charming, debonair, black-eyed, hand-kissing international man of mystery still clings to him at the age of 72, although more recent reports have spoken of a bad-tempered and melancholic old man who lives alone in a hotel, having gambled all his money away. Sitting in a suite at the George V hotel in Paris, however, lean and elegantly dressed in black, he appears to be in a very good mood. His famous gap-toothed smile radiates an infectious mischief.
“I’ve never been unhappy in my life,” he says. “I know which [articles] you’re talking about. They made me sound unhappy. I’m not unhappy at all.” And it’s not true either that he is a compulsive gambler. “I was never a gambler in the sense of the term; I only gambled when I was alone, I had no friends, no one to eat with,” he says. “I would never think of going to a casino, to a gambling club, if I had someone to dine with.”