Omar Sharif dies at 83

Doctor Zhivago star had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

by Jennie Kermode

Omar Sharif
Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif, star of such legendary films as Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, has died at the age of 83.

The actor, who made a memorable Captain Nemo in Mysterious Island and also appeared in films like Funny Girl, The Tamarind Seed and The 13th Warrior, continued to work until 2013. He was a real all-rounder, as passionate about sport as he was about theatre and film, with a degree in maths and physics, impressive carpentry skills, and a reputation as one of the world's best bridge players. An international heart-throb in his youth, he went on to play fatherly and grandfatherly roles, ageing gracefully and never losing his loyal fans. Though he sometimes publicly lost his temper, once even striking a fan, he is remembered by his fellow actors for his charm and kindness, and for his joie de vivre. "I want to live every moment totally and intensely," he said.

Sharif's son, Tarek El-Sharif, revealed in May that his father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and was becoming confused about the roles he had played. He died of a heart attack in hospital in Cairo.

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