Lawrence of Arabia star Omar Sharif dies aged 83

The actor famous for his leading roles in Doctor Zhivago and other classic films has died of a heart attack

Omar Sharif died this afternoon in Cairo, his agent has confirmed. The star of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, among many other classics, suffered a heart attack in hospital – he was 83.


Born in Alexandria in 1932, Sharif was a local celebrity before winning international fame, a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his very first English language role – playing Sherif Ali opposite Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. He would later worth with director David Lean again, taking the title role in Doctor Zhivago, a performance which earned him another Golden Globe.

A Hollywood star in the classic sense, he became one of the most famous faces of his era, frequently teaming up with friend and former co-star O’Toole. O’Toole reportedly called his friend ‘Fred’.

Beyond the screen, he was a man known for his hobbies and enthusiasms – he supported Hull City Football Club and received an honorary degree from University of Hull in 2010, and was a world class bridge player.


He married his Struggle in the Valley co-star Faten Hamama, and never remarried after the dissolution of the marriage in 1974.