Remembering Omar Sharif: Here are 5 other Muslim actors who found fame in Hollywood

Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif is best known for his role in classic films like Lawrence of Arabia


Entertainment Desk July 11, 2015
Omar Sharif is just one of many Muslim actors who found fame in Hollywood.

Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif , who died on Friday, is best known for his role in classic films like Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. However, he is just one of many religiously or culturally Muslim actors who found fame in Hollywood.

Here are some others:

1. Ice Cube

Born O'Shea Jackson, this American actor, rapper and record producer has identified himself as Muslim on many occasions. But it's not entirely clear between his fans whether he means Nation of Islam, an American sect.

"Ah, when you say involved with the Nation, it’s tricky. I never was in the Nation of Islam. I mean, what I call myself is a natural Muslim, ‘cause it’s just me and God. You know, going to the mosque, the ritual and the tradition, it’s just not in me to do. So I don’t do it," said Ice Cube in an interview.

Reportedly, he converted to Islam in the 1990s.

2. Dave Chappelle

Although this American comedian and actor has publicly announced embracing Islam, he shies away from talking about his faith.

"I don't normally talk about my religion publicly because I don't want people to associate me and my flaws with this beautiful thing," the 41-year-old told Time Magazine.

In a later interview he confessed that he was not the best example of a Muslim. “I’m a Muslim — I don’t necessarily practice the way a good Muslim is supposed to practice, but I believe in these tenets,” said Dave.

3. Ellen Burstyn

The Emmy winning actress, follows Sufi Islam. She even has a Sufi name Hadiya, given to her by her Sufi teacher. What attracted her to Sufism was "the idea that we didn’t have to say, ‘I am a Christian’ or, ‘I am a Buddhist’ or, ‘I am a Muslim,’ but, ‘I am a spirit opening to the truth that lives in all of these religions’".

That, she continued, “brings you into a place where you see that the differences are in the dogma, and the essence is very, very similar.”

4. Aasif Mandvi

This Indian-American actor and comedian best known for his role on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has a long acting resume. In 2015 he told Religion News Service he is a “cultural Muslim.”

"Like an important time to say something as a Muslim-American, as a brown person, as an immigrant. I feel like a lot of my work is about [exploring] that gap between cultures ... I just want to keep building on that," he said in an interview with Tampa Times Bay.

He is currently appearing in HBO’s The Brink and the web series Halal in the Family, a project that skewers Muslim stereotypes.

5. Faran Tahir



Faran is a Pakistani-American film and TV actor who has worked alongside some of the biggest Hollywood stars including Robert Downey Jr.

In a recent interview with Huffington Post, Faran opened up about the roles he wouldn't play.

“When I see a script where I think this is really written with some level of bias or there is some vitriol that’s beyond what I can digest, either I will engage people [in a conversation] or make a decision not to be a part of it," he was quoted by Huffington Post as saying. "Sometimes it’s a kick in the wallet, but I’d rather take a kick in the wallet than live with the despair or the guilt of doing it."

This story originally appeared on The Washington Post.

COMMENTS (33)

Javed Rashid | 5 years ago | Reply @Saeed: Yes he was a,Copic Christian , but later converted to Islam
M A Mujeeb | 5 years ago | Reply Omar Shareef died as a Muslim. This is substantiated by the news appearing on his burial in today's news papers (Reference Khaleej Times, Dubai) that he was laid to rest in a Muslim Grave Yard in Cairo yesterday..
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