If my mom ever stumbles across this page, she will probably fuss at me for revealing one of her secret film-star crushes: Omar Sharif. She's never been a maniac fan as far as I can tell, but if you mention Dr. Zhivago or Lawrence of Arabia or a few other select movies, her eyes shine and she smiles wistfully and says quietly, "Ohhh, Omar Sharif." Makes me wonder if Sharif wasn't the Johnny Depp of his day, the guy who looked better as he grew older, who wasn't admired solely by teeny-boppers. Sharif's birthday is today; he's just about 10 years older than my mom (she probably doesn't want you to know about that, either).
I confess I've never seen Dr. Zhivago, from which the above still is taken. Someday when the Paramount or another local theater shows it, perhaps I'll give the 1965 classic a chance -- I suspect it's a film that has to be seen on a very large screen. In fact, I've seen few of Sharif's films. I didn't realize he had much of a film career past 1980, and was surprised when he won acclaim for his role in the 2003 film Monsieur Ibrahim. A quick peek at his filmography shows that he's worked steadily in film throughout the years, in a variety of films from Top Secret! (which I've seen) to Mountains of the Moon (which I haven't). I doubt my mom has seen him in any recent roles; I think she prefers to remember him in his thirties, as her exotic heartthrob.
The British Film Institute site has a section on director David Lean that includes some lovely stills from Dr. Zhivago, if you too cherish a secret Sharif crush. And maybe later this week I'll share my grandmother's secret film love.