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'Doctor Zhivago' star Omar Sharif dies in Cairo at 83

10 luglio 2015 | 19.03
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Film legend Omar Sharif has died in his native Egypt of a heart-attack at the age of 83, his agent said on Friday. He was best known for his award-winning roles in classic films Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia.

"He suffered a heart attack this afternoon in a hospital in Cairo," said Sharif's agent Steve Kenis. The actor spent much of his later years in Cairo and in at the Royal Moncean Hotel in Paris.

Sharif won two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia.

He won another Golden Globe three years later for his next epic, Doctor Zhivago, in which he played a physician caught up in the Russian Revolution.

Earlier this year, Kenis confirmed he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease after his son Tarek gave an interview in which he discussed his father's deteriorating condition.

Tarek played his father's younger self in Dr Zhivago (1965).

The suave, good-looking Sharif, spoke six languages and was at one time ranked one of the best bridge players in the world.

His film roles became increasingly sporadic and in the late 1990s Sharif began declining film offers, claiming he had lost his "self-respect and dignity".

Sharif made something of a comeback in 2003 in the title role of the French film "Monsieur Ibrahim", playing an elderly Muslim shopkeeper.

The performance won him a best actor award at the Venice Film Festival and the best actor Cesar, France's equivalent of an Oscar.

He was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub on 10 April, 1932 in Egypt's Mediterranean port city of Alexandria to Syrian-Lebanese parents and was raised as a Catholic.

He studied at Alexandria's Victoria College before gaining a degree in mathematics and physics from Cairo University.

He worked for three years at his father's lumber company before making his screen debut in the 1954 Egyptian film Siraa Fil-Wadi (The Blazing Sun) and rapidly became a box-office star in his own country.

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