Actor Omar Sharif, most well known for his performances in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, passed away on Friday. He was 83-years-old.
According to Sharif’s agent, Steve Kenis, the Egyptian-born actor suffered from a heart attack in a Cairo hospital, on Friday afternoon.
Sharif, during his prime acting years, was quite the heartthrob, known for his superb acting skills, as well as his exotic accent and charming personality. The dark haired hunk was considered one of the most handsome men in the world during his Doctor Zhivago days.
“When he walked on the ‘Zhivago’ set in Spain, I took one look and said, ‘I can’t act with that man. He’s too gorgeous!’” one of his co-stars, Geraldine Chaplin told the New York Times in 1965.
Although the man was extremely handsome, his acting skills were what really set him apart. The actor earned himself an Oscar nomination and two Golden Globes for his supporting role as Sherif Ali, in Lawrence of Arabia. He later won another Golden Globe for Doctor Zhivago.
The award-winning actor was also able to portray real life figures like Genghis Khan and Che Guevera.
Sharif, who was married to fellow Egyptian actress, Faten Hamama, from 1954-1974, lost some interest in film during the 70s’, when he had taken up in the card game bridge. By the 90s’, the game was what consumed majority of his time, and not for nothing—he was an excellent player, ranked among the world’s best.
The then bridge player told the UK’s Guardian that the game had become priority over film at that point in his life, “I refused in my life many films because they happened at the same time as an important tournament. He then referred to these decisions as “stupid”. Perhaps we might’ve seen the actor in many other classic films had he taken roles over the game.
Despite losing roles over his game playing, the actor is remembered as one of the greats.
Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, who starred with Sharif in the 1999 film The 13th Warrior, took to Twitter to remember him as “one of the best”
Earlier this year, Sharif’s agent had confirmed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis, after his son, Tarek, spoke about his father’s condition in an interview.
“He still knows he’s a famous actor,” Tarek El-Sharif told Spain’s El Mundo newspaper. “He remembers, for example, [he was in] Doctor Zhivago, but he’s forgotten when it was filmed.”
After the announcement of Sharif’s death, his grandson, Omar Sharif Jr. posted a photo of his beloved grandfather on his Facebook page, with the caption: “I love you.”
The dashing actor will be sorely missed, but remembered for his great contributions to film.