LONDON: Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif, who starred in “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”, died on Friday in Cairo aged 83, his London-based agent said.
“He died this afternoon of a heart attack in Cairo,” Steve Kenis told AFP, adding that the actor had been in a hospital for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Sharif began acting in the 1950s and was propelled to stardom playing an Arab chief enlisted by Peter O’Toole’s T.E. Lawrence in the World War I drama “Lawrence of Arabia”, for which he won an Oscar nomination.
An even bigger role followed as the eponymous hero in David Lean’s “Doctor Zhivago”, the adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s novel of tortured passions during the Russian Revolution.
Known for his raffish good looks, he went on to star in many more films and television productions, and in later years became almost as well known for playing bridge and owning thoroughbred racehorses.
Sharif was born in Egypt but spent many years living between France, Italy and the United States, before settling back in his native country.