Omar Sharif dead: Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago star dies aged 83

Sharif made his name starring in a number of Egyptian films in the Fifties

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Legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif has died aged 83 after suffering a heart attack in a Cairo hospital, his agent has confirmed.

The Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago star was born in 1932 to Syrian and Lebanese parents and began making his name by starring in a multitude of Egyptian films in the Fifities.

Sharif's death was first reported by the Al Arabiya news channel on Friday afternoon, with his grandson reportedly posting a photo on Facebook in remembrance of him, captioned with an Arabic message of condolence.

Egyptian actress Yusra is believed to have told local newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm that Sharif's son Tarif El-Sharif had confirmed the "big loss".

Sharif Jr revealed in May that his father was struggling to remember specifics after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

"He remembers, for example, that it was Doctor Zhivago but he's forgotten when it was filmed," he told El Mundo. "He can talk about the film but he forgets its name or he calls it something else instead like Lawrence of Arabia."

Sharif was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia and also won three Golden Globes during his long career of 118 TV and movie roles.