Legendary actor Omar sharif passed away suffering a heart attack in hospital in Cairo, aged 83.
The Egyptian-born actor rose to international stardom with his role in the 1962 epic Lawrence Of Arabia – his first English-language film.
He earned an Oscar nomination for his turn as Sherif Ali in David Lean’s iconic film opposite Peter O’Toole.
Sharif followed the breakthrough performance with the title role in Lean’s Doctor Zhivago, co-starring Julie Christie.
Omar Sharif with his grandson Omar Sharif Jr
Omar Sharif’s grandson posted a picture of himself and the star on Facebook
He then played Fanny Brice’s husband, Nicky Arnstein, in Funny Girl alongside Barbra Streisand.
In May, it emerged he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
His grandson, Omar Sharif Jr, posted a picture of himself and the actor on Facebook on 3 July with the message: “I love you.”
His last completed feature film credits were in 2013.
Omar Sharif has died at the age of 83. The Egyptian actor, best known for roles in Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, suffered a heart attack in Cairo on Friday, his agent Steve Kenis said.
In May his son revealed the star had been suffering from Alzheimer’s. His son, Tarek Sharif, and two grandsons survive him.
Sharif, who was one of the few Arab actors to achieve mainstream Hollywood success, grew up in Cairo. In an interview in 2012, he recalled how his mother would socialise with King Farouk as well as dole out regular beatings to her son.
“By night she would play cards, by day she would give me the slipper,” he said. “She hit me on my backside every day till I was 14. She was an extraordinary woman – she lived till 1998. I was very close to her, even though she beat me all the time!”
Sharif was Oscar-nominated for his role in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and went on to win a Golden Globe for his performance. It was his first English-language role after appearing in over 20 Egyptian films.
He spoke about the film to the Guardian in 2012: “When I made this film I thought: ‘This is a crazy thing. There are no girls, no very famous actors at that time, only men and no action, not a lot of action. Not a lot of fights.’ It was so good because the director was a brilliant man. That’s the truth. David Lean was a great, great man.”
He soon became a major Hollywood player and followed his breakthrough performance with roles in Behold a Pale Horse alongside Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn, and in the 1965 epic Genghis Khan, playing the title role. In the same year, he reunited with Lean to star in Doctor Zhivago, which earned him another Golden Globe.
Sharif also starred alongside Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl and its sequel, Funny Lady. His decision to work with Streisand, who supported the State of Israel, angered the Egyptian government.
He was caught on video in 2011, apparently slapping a journalist after she attempted to take a photo with him at the Doha international film festival.
As well as being an unlikely supporter of Hull City Football Club, Sharif was a world-renowned bridge player, and recently developed an iPhone app around the card game. In November 2005, he received Unesco’s Sergei Eisenstein medal in recognition of his contributions to world film and cultural diversity.
Stars have been paying tribute to the late actor on Twitter. Antonio Banderas, who acted alongside him in The 13th Warrior, tweeted: “My great friend Omar Sharif has passed away. I will always miss him. He was one of the best. D.E.P.” Roland Emmerich, who directed him in 10,000 BC, tweeted: “Very saddened by the passing of Omar Sharif. Blessed that I was able to work with such a legend. Love to the family.”
The movie “Sira` Fi al-Wadi” (Struggle in the valley) is an Egyptian movie in which a part had been taken in the Karnak temple.
It is a 1954 Egyptian romance/drama film directed by Youssef Chahine and starred Omar Sharif and Faten Hamama. This was the first film role that Omar Sharif played and it was this role that earned him stardom. In 1996, during the Egyptian Cinema centennial, this film was selected one of the best 150 Egyptian film productions. It was presented in the 1954 Cannes Film Festival under the name The Blazing Sky.
This movie is also related to the political/social events happened in Egypt since 1952, Omar Sharif plays Ahmed, an engineer whose father is a farmer and a farm owner. His father succeeds in improving and increasing the production of sugar cane in his farm. Taher Pasha, a wealthy land owner, who runs a competing sugar cane production facility, feels threatened by his recent production prosperity. Ahmed is in a love relationship with the pasha’s daughter, Amal, but as a consequence to the rivalry between both their fathers, he is compelled to hide their relationship.