Studied mathematics and physics in college, then worked for his family's lumber business after graduating.
Began acting in Egyptian movies in 1954; costarred with wife Faten Hamama in several films.
Became an international star after appearing in his first English-language film, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), for which he received an Oscar nomination; followed by such blockbusters as Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Funny Girl (1968).
An expert at bridge; played bridge professionally and wrote several books about the game.
Was awarded the inaugural Sergei Eisenstein Medal by UNESCO in 2005, for his contributions to world film and cultural diversity.
1963, Golden Globe — New Star of the Year - Actor: Winner
1966, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
1962, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
2003, Venice Film Festival — Lifetime Achievement: Winner
1963, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner