Olga Zabotkina was born on 18 January 1936 in Leningrad, USSR. She studied at the Leningrad Choreographic School (class of N. A. Kamkova and V. K. Ivanova). She graduated and joined the Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky) in 1953 and danced with them until 1978.
Among her repertoire are Queen in Sleeping Beauty, Mercedes and Street Dancer in Don Quixote and character roles in Spartacus, Gayane, Legend of Love, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Stone Flower, Laurencia and Egyptian Nights.
Olga Zabotkina was also an actress, known for Don Sezar de Bazan (1957), Cherry Town (1963) and Neokonchennaya povest(1955). Famed for her rare beauty, her film career did not last as long as her career as a dancer which lasted until the late 70s.
She married Alexander Ivanov(1936-1996), who was a poet and humorist. The couple did not have any children.
After a long but difficult life which was saddened by illness in the last years, Olga Zabotkina died on 21 December 2001 in Moscow, Russia, and was buried in the Smolensk cemetery in St. Petersburg.
Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo (22 July 1932 – 20 October 2014), known professionally as Oscar de la Renta, was a Dominican fashion designer. Born in Santo Domingo, he was trained by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Antonio del Castillo. De la Renta became internationally known in the 1960s as one of the couturiers who dressed Jacqueline Kennedy. He worked for Lanvin and Balmain. His eponymous fashion house has boutiques around the world including in Harrods of London and Madison Avenue in New York.
Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo, the youngest of seven children and the only boy in his family, was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to a Dominican mother, Carmen María Antonia Fiallo, and a Puerto Rican father, Óscar Avelino De La Renta, owner of an insurance company. His mother's family were so embedded in Dominican society that they could count poets, scholars, and businessmen, as well as top army brass among their members. One maternal received every degree the University of Santo Domingo could offer, and another maternal uncle was a diplomat and poet.
On his father's side, De la Renta's great-great grandfather José Ortíz de la Renta was the first mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico, elected by popular vote and who had the distinction of serving as mayor eight times, the most ever for the city.
De la Renta was raised Catholic in a protective family. His mother died from complications of multiple sclerosis when he was 18.
At the age of 18, he went to study painting in Spain at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. For extra money, he drew clothes for newspapers and fashion houses. After Francesca Lodge, the wife of John Davis Lodge, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, saw some of his dress sketches, she commissioned de la Renta to design a gown for her daughter. The dress appeared on the cover of Life magazine that fall. He quickly became interested in the world of fashion design and began sketching for leading Spanish fashion houses, which soon led to an apprenticeship with Spain's most renowned couturier, Cristóbal Balenciaga. He considered Cristóbal Balenciaga his mentor.
In 1961, de la Renta left Spain to join Antonio del Castillo as a couture assistant at Lanvin in Paris.
In 1963, de la Renta turned to Diana Vreeland, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, for advice, saying that what he really wanted was to "get into ready to wear, because that's where the money is". Vreeland replied, "Then go to Arden because you will make your reputation faster. She is not a designer, so she will promote you. At the other place, you will always be eclipsed by the name of Dior." De la Renta proceeded to work for Arden for two years in New York City before he went to work for Jane Derby, an American fashion house. When Derby died in August 1965, de la Renta took over the label.
In 1966, de la Renta became the third husband of Françoise de Langlade (1921–1983), an editor-in-chief of French Vogue who once worked for the fashion house of Elsa Schiaparelli. They were married until she died of cancer in 1983. After her death, de la Renta adopted a boy from the Dominican Republic and named him Moisés.
In 1967 and 1968, de la Renta won the Coty Award (the U.S. fashion industry "Oscars") and in 1973 was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame.
From 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988, he served as President of the CFDA. He is also a two-time winner of the American Fashion Critic's Award.
In 1977, de la Renta launched his fragrance, OSCAR, followed by an accessories line in 2001 and a homewares line in 2002. The new business venture included 100 home furnishings for Century Furniture featuring dining tables, upholstered chairs, and couches.
In February 1990, he was honored with the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, the designer married Annette Engelhard (born 1939).
From 1993 to 2002, de la Renta designed the haute couture collection for the house of Balmain, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house.
In 2004, he added a less expensive line of clothing called O Oscar. De la Renta said he wanted to attract new customers whom he could not reach before. In 2006, the Oscar de la Renta label diversified into bridal wear.
De la Renta's designs have been worn by a diverse group of distinguished women and celebrities. De la Renta's brand saw international wholesale growth beginning in 2003, under the direction of CEO Alex Bolen, from five to seventy-five locations. De la Renta's ready-to-wear designs are available in his retail stores, online, and with select wholesale partners worldwide.
De la Renta was regarded as an unofficial ambassador of the Dominican Republic, his home country, and held a diplomatic passport. He had homes there in Casa de Campo and Punta Cana, in addition to his residence in Kent, Connecticut.
In 2006, de la Renta designed Tortuga Bay, a boutique hotel at Puntacana Resort and Club. The hotel is part of the luxury hotel collection, The Leading Hotels of the World.
That same year De la Renta was diagnosed with cancer. A year later at the CFDA "Fashion Talks" event, Executive Director Fern Mallis called him "The Sultan of Suave". At that event, he spoke of his cancer, saying:
Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.
De la Renta's talents received continual international recognition. Among them, he received the Council of Fashion Designers Designer of the Year Award in 2000 and in 2007 (tied with Proenza Schouler). King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed de la Renta with two awards, the Gold Medal of Bellas Artes and the La Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil. He was recognized by the French government with the Légion d'honneur as a Commandeur.
In 2014, the George W. Bush Presidential Center hosted an exhibit entitled "Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style" which shared the designer's creations for Mrs. Bush and America's First Ladies.
De la Renta died of complications from cancer on October 20, 2014, at his home in Kent, Connecticut, at the age of 82.
De la Renta had stepchildren from both marriages. His son-in-law Alex Bolen currently operates as Chief Executive Officer, and stepdaughter Eliza Bolen serves as Vice President of Licensing at Oscar de la Renta, LLC.
Omar Sharif (born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub, 10 April 1932 – 10 July 2015) was an Egyptian film and television actor. He began his career in his native country in the 1950s, but is best known for his appearances in British, American, French, and Italian productions. His films include Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Funny Girl (1968). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Lawrence of Arabia. He won three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award.
Sharif, who spoke Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Greek, and Italian fluently, was often cast in British and American films as a foreigner of some sort. He was a lifelong horse racing enthusiast, and at one time ranked among the world's top contract bridge players.
Omar Sharif was born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub in Alexandria, Kingdom of Egypt (now Arab Republic of Egypt) in a well-to-do family.
His father, Joseph Chalhoub, was a successful precious woods merchant, and his mother Claire Saada, was an elegant and charming society hostess who counted the Egypt's King Farouk as a regular visitor and friend prior to his deposition in 1952. And after the political change of Egypt, Sharif's father lumber business suffered a lot.
In his youth, Sharif studied at Victoria College, Alexandria, where he showed a talent for languages. He later graduated from Cairo University with a degree in mathematics and physics. He worked for a while in his father's precious wood business before beginning his acting career in Egypt. In 1955, he changed his name to Omar Sharif (Sharif means "noble" or "nobleman") and converted from Antiochian Greek Christians to Islam in order to marry fellow Egyptian actress Faten Hamama.
In 1954, Sharif began his acting career in Egypt with a role in Sira’ Fi al-Wadi (1954) ("Struggle in the Valley"), in which he played with Faten Hamama, an Eyptian film star, who gave him her first screen kiss.
The two actors fell in love and were married in 1955. Their son Tarek Sharif was born in 1957 in Egypt.
Sharif quickly rose to stardom, appearing in many Egyptian films in the next few years, with a few of them starring him and his wife.
Sharif's first English-language role was that of the fictitious Sherif Ali in David Lean's historical epic Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O'toole in 1962.
To secure the role, Sharif had to sign a seven-film contract with Columbia at $50,000 a film. He took his son to live in Hollywood.
Casting Sharif in what is now considered one of the "most demanding supporting roles in Hollywood history" was both complex and risky as he was virtually unknown at the time outside Egypt. But David Lean insisted on using ethnic actors when possible to make the film authentic.
Lawrence of Arabia was a box office and critical sensation. Sharif's performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in Motion Picture, as well as a shared Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in Actor category.
Sharif went on to star in another Hollywood blockbuster, Anthony Mann's The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) where he played the support role of Sohaemus of Armenia, which was a commercial disappointment
Sharif had his first lead role in a Hollywood movie when he was cast in the title part of Genghis Khan (1965). Produced by Irving Allen and directed by Henry Levin for Columbia, the $4.5 million epic was a box office disappointment.
While making Genghis Khan Sharif heard that David Lean was making an epic love story Doctor Zhivago (1965), an adaptation of Boris Pasternak's 1957 novel. Sharif was a fan of the novel and pitched himself for one of the supporting roles; Lean decided to cast him in the lead, as Yuri Zhivago, a poet and physician. Sharif's son Tarek Sharif also appeared in the film as Yuri at the age of eight.
David Lean intended the film to be a poetic portrayal of the period, with large vistas of landscapes combined with a powerful score by Maurice Jarre.
The film was a huge hit. For his performance, Sharif won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Doctor Zhivago remains one of the top ten highest-grossing films of all time after adjusting for inflation.
Starting from the 60s, as Sharif's film career became more international, he traveled and lived abroad more, stayed less in his country Egypt. He first lived in the United States and then Europe.
After The Nasser government in Egypt imposed travel restrictions in the form of "exit visas", which made it difficult for Sharif to take part in international films, Sharif decided to remain in Europe between his film shoots, which means self exile of his country for the next 10 years.
In 1966, he separated from his wife Faten Hamama.
It was a major crossroad in Sharif's life and changed him from an established family man to a committed bachelor living in European hotels. Sharif and his wife Faten Hamama divorced in 1974. He never married again.
Sharif is a polyglot who spoke Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Spanish and English, and his accent enabled him to "play the role of a foreigner without anyone knowing exactly where I came from", which he stated proved highly successful throughout his career.
Although Sharif worked in film industry and later in television for almost 60 years except a several years break, his true passion are playing bridge and racing horses. In fact, he has spent and lost huge amounts of money on his passions that he had to make movies to pay for them, as he himself admited" I would call my agent and tell him to accept any part, just to bail myself out."
Sharif said bridge was his personal passion and at one time he was ranked among the world's top 50 contract bridge players. At the 1964 World Bridge Olympiad he represented the United Arab Republic bridge squad and in 1968 he was playing captain of the Egyptian team in the Olympiad.
In 1967 he formed the Omar Sharif Bridge Circus to showcase bridge to the world and invited professional players including members of the Italian Blue team, which won 16 World championship titles, to tour and promote the game via exhibition matches including one watched by the Shah of Iran. Touring through Europe, the Circus attracted thousands of spectators who watched the matches via Bridge-O-Rama, a new technology that displayed bidding and cardplay on television monitors.
The Omar Sharif World Individual Championship held in 1990 offered the largest total purse ($200,000) in the history of bridge.
With Charles Goren and later Tannah Hirsch, Sharif contributed to a syndicated newspaper bridge column for the Chicago Tribune. He was also both author and co-author of several books on bridge.
By 2000 Sharif had stopped playing bridge entirely. Having once proudly declared the game his passion, he now considered it an addiction: "I didn't want to be a slave to any passion anymore. I gave up card playing altogether, even bridge and gambling." But he co-authored a book with bridge writer David Bird, Omar Sharif Talks Bridge. Written in 2004, it includes some of his most famous deals and bridge stories.
Sharif also loved horses and horse racing. For him, horse is the most noble animal with the most beautiful and harmonious lines in the animal world. He was often seen at French racecourses, with Deauville-La Touques Racecourse being his favourite. Sharif's horses won a number of important races and he had his best successes with his horse Don Bosco, who won the Prix Gontaut-Biron, Prix Perth and Prix du Muguet. He also wrote for a French horse racing magazine.
Omar Sharif was a smoker and smoked about 25 cigarettes a day but quite smoking after a triple heart bypass operation in 1992. Two years later he suffered a mild heart attack in 1994.
On 10 July 2015, Sharif died after suffering a heart attack at a hospital in Cairo, age 83.
On 17 January 2015, less than six months earlier, Omar Shariff's ex-wife also Faten Hamama died in Cairo, age 83.
After his divorce in 1974 from Faten Hamama, Sharif has been romantically involved with many women, including Ingrid Bergman, Catherine Deneuve, Julie Chrisite, his co-star in Doctor Zhivago(1965)who has proposed to him; and Barbra Streisand, his co-star in Funny Girl (1968), with whom he had fallen madly in love during the filming. The very publicized love affair almost cost him his Eyptian citizenship.
But he never married again. According to his own words, no other woman ever won his heart and he never lived with another woman other than Faten Hamama, who was the love of his life.
Two months prior to his death, his son said Tarek Sharif his father was also suffering from Alzheimer's disease, becoming confused when remembering some of the biggest films of his career; he would mix up the names of his best-known films, Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, often forgetting where they were filmed.
On 12 July 2015, Sharif's funeral was held at the Grand Mosque of Mushir Tantawi in eastern Cairo. The funeral was attended by a group of Sharif's relatives, friends and Egyptian actors, his coffin draped in the Egyptian flag and a black shroud. His coffin was later taken to the El-Sayeda Nafisa cemetery in southern Cairo, where he was buried.