Actor Omar Sharif, best known for his title role as Doctor Zhivago in the Oscar-winning film, has died, Egyptian state television said. He was 83.
In May, Sharif’s agent confirmed the actor, who played a wide range of dashing and dignified characters while building a reputation as an expert bridge player, had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Sharif was one of the few Arab actors to make it big in Hollywood. He won international fame and an Oscar-nomination for best supporting actor for his role in the 1962 film “Lawrence of Arabia” with Peter O’Toole.
Born as Michel Shalhoub on April 10, 1932, to a wealthy family in Alexandria, Egypt, Sharif grew interested in acting while studying mathematics and physics at university in Cairo.
Raised as a Roman Catholic, Sharif converted to Islam and married Hamama in 1955, taking on his new name. They had a son, Tarek, who played Yuri in “Doctor Zhivago” at age 8, but the couple divorced in 1974.
Despite Sharif’s image as a sex symbol and eligible bachelor, he did not remarry, saying he never fell in love with another woman.
R.I.P. Omar Sharif, star of Lawrence Of Arabia has sadly passed away at the age of 83 pic.twitter.com/XLJwbCzy0n
HistoricalPics</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OmarSharif?src=hash">#OmarSharif</a></p>— Lars Pellinat (Lars9596) July 10, 2015