Doctor Zhivago star (and Hull City fan) Omar Sharif dies at 83

Doctor Zhivago star Omar Sharif has died aged 83, his agent said.
Omar SharifOmar Sharif
Omar Sharif

The Egyptian actor, who also starred in hit films including Lawrence of Arabia and Funny Girl, was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

His agent Steve Kenis said: “He suffered a heart attack this afternoon in a hospital in Cairo.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Egyptian-born actor was nominated for an Oscar for his role in David Lean’s epic re-telling of the Lawrence of Arabia story.

He starred in dozens of films but his career never quite lived up to its early promise and his later fame rested on his ability with a pack of cards - he was a regular in casinos and was one of the world’s best bridge players.

He was also a fan of Hull City and was said in the 1970s to regularly call the Football League telephone scoreline from his home in Paris to check on their progress. He was given an honorary degree by the University of Hull in 2010.

Gambling took its toll on his career and, speaking in 2004, Sharif said he stopped making films when his own grandchildren started making fun of the low-rent movies he was appearing in.

He said: “I stopped making movies because for the last 25 years I’ve been making a lot of rubbish because I was in debt all the time”.

• More shortly