Legendary Hollywood actor Omar Sharif, best known for his roles in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, has died aged 83. Egypt-born Sharif won two Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination for his role as Sherif Ali in David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia. Later, he won a Golden Globe after three years for Doctor Zhivago. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease he died of a heart attack in Cairo.
Sharif started his career in Egyptian cinema in the 1950s. Born Michel Shalhoub in Alexandria in, he helped in his family's lumber business before going to at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London. He made his debut in the 1954 Egyptian film Siraa Fil-Wadi (The Blazing Sun) and rapidly became a star but his big break came when David Lean cast him in Lawrence of Arabia, introducing the actor with a now-legendary shot of his riding a camel out of a shimmering heat haze towards the camera.
Sharif was in the title role of his next epic Doctor Zhivago, in which he played a physician caught up in the Russian Revolution. The actor went through a daily routine of hair-straightening and skin-waxing to disguise his Egyptian looks and later admitted taht the film had left him close to a nervous breakdown. His other notable roles were opposite Barbra Streisand in her first film Funny Girl and as Julie Andrews' lover in spy thriller The Tamarind Seed.
He won a Career Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2003. Sharif spent much of his later years in Cairo and at the Royal Moncean Hotel in Paris. Earlier this year, it was confirmed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease after his son Tarek gave an interview in which he discussed his father's deteriorating condition.