Omar Sharif, who received an Oscar nomination for his towering performance in the 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia, passed away earlier today at the age of 83. His agent, Steve Kenis, revealed earlier this year that the actor had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Steve Kenis confirmed that Omar Sharif died after suffering a heart attack in Cairo, Egypt.
The actor was born as Michel Shalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt in April 1932, to a lumber merchant. After graduating from Victoria College in Alexandria, and later from Cairo University, he entered his family's lumber business, before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). In the 1950s, he became a rising star in Egyptian cinema, starring in films such as The Blazing Sun, Our Best Days and The Lebanese Mission before making his English-language debut with Lawrence of Arabia, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for and received an Oscar nomination. He won another Golden Globe three years later for Doctor Zhivago. Other notable roles include Funny Girl alongside Barbra Streisand, Che! with Jack Palance and Mackenna's Gold with Gregory Peck.
He continued to work regularly throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, taking roles in the comedy spoof Top Secret!, The 13th Warrior, Monsieur Ibrahim, Hidalgo, One Night With the King and narrating Roland Emmerich's 10,000 B.C.. The actor was also considered to be one of the best contract bridge players in the world, and he also wrote a syndicated bridge column for the Chicago Tribune in the 1970s and 1980s, along with several books on the card game, including Omar Sharif Bridge. He is survived by his son, Tarek Sharif, and his grandson Omar Sharif Jr..