Egyptian film icon Omar Sharif struggling with Alzheimer’s

Egypt’s cinematic icon Omar Sharif, known for roles in Hollywood epics Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, is suffering from Alzheimer's disease

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Film legend Omar Sharif, once named the world’s most handsome man, is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Omar Sharif’s son, Tarek El-Shari, revealed that his father had been struggling with the illness for the last three years.

The Egyptian cinematic icon’s son told a Spanish newspaper that the 83-year-old actor is struggling with his memory and retired from the industry because of his illness.

Shari said “My father has Alzheimer’s. It’s difficult to determine what stage it’s at. It’s obvious he’ll never improve and it will get worse.”

Sharif also said his father confuses the names of his films.

“He still knows he’s a famous actor. The loss of memory affects above all specific things, details like when he was in a specific places or who he acted with in a specific film,” he added.

Sharif, who was originally named Michel Demetri Chalhoub, was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He first rose to international fame for his role in 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia starring alongside Peter O’Toole.

He later starred in classics such as Doctor Zhivago and Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand.

Sharif has a degree in mathematics and physics from Cairo University and became one of the top 10 bridge players in the world.


TRTWorld and agencies