Iconic Egyptian actor Omar al-Sharif dies
Omar al-Sharif died of a heart attack at the age of 83. He was suffering from Alzheimer before his death
Egypt’s cinematic icon Omar al-Sharif, known to his Western audience for roles in Hollywood epics Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, passed away on Friday at the age of 83, Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent reported.
Sharif’s grandson reportedly posted a picture on his Facebook account on Friday with a message of condolence in Arabic.
Sharif’s longtime agent, Steve Kenis, told The Associated Press that Sharif died of a heart attack in a Cairo hospital. Sharif had been suffering from Alzheimers.
Famed Egyptian actress Yusra told the local Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper that she spoke to Sharif's son to verify news of his father’s death. She expressed her sadness over Sharif's demise, saying it was a “big loss.”
In mid-May, his son, Tarek, told Spanish newspaper El Mundo that his father, who skyrocketed to fame in 1962 following his supporting role as the princely Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia, has been suffering of Alzheimer for the past three years.
Tarek said his father also renowned bridge player was aware of whom he was, but when fans approached him he had a hard time understanding why.
Sharif married the famous Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, known as “Lady of the Arab Screen,” but divorced in 1974.
Before converting to Islam to marry Hamama, Sharif was born as Michel Demetri Chalhoub in Alexandria to a Catholic family.
Despite the divorce, Sharif maintained that Hamama was the love of his life. The star never remarried.
His films include Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Funny Girl (1968). He has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won three Golden Globe Awards.
Sharif also appeared in the films “Che!” and “The Pink Panther Strikes Again.” “Lawrence of Arabia” earned Sharif a supporting-actor Oscar nomination and international stardom.
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