One of the most important Arab actors in history—and a personal hero of mine—died earlier this month. For decades, Omar Sharif defined Hollywood’s Middle Eastern man. His performances varied from the cunning to the credulous, from the sleazy to the debonair, but he always brought that mysterious, exotic charm that became associated with the better ethnic roles in Old Hollywood. I originally intended to write a eulogy, but The Guardian eulogized circles around anything I could have written. Instead, let’s celebrate Sharif’s life by talking about his work. I thought I’d start with his last high-profile film: Hidalgo, a mediocre movie buoyed by his warm, charismatic presence.