His son, Tarek El-Sharif, told a Spanish newspaper at the weekend that he was suffering from the disease, and his agent confirmed this on Tuesday.
Legendary actor Omar Sharif, the star of critical and popular hit movies Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago in the 1960s, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it has been revealed.
Reports of the diagnosis initially emerged at the weekend after his son Tarek gave an interview to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, but on Tuesday the 83 year old actor’s agent confirmed the news to the Associated Press. No further details were given about his condition other than those in his son’s interview.
Omar Sharif has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, it has been confirmed
The Egyptian-born actor became a superstar after his role as Sherif Ali in the epic Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 opposite Peter O’Toole, his first English-language role after a number of Egyptian movies in his twenties, earned him two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Three years later, he earned a further three Golden Globes for the title role in 1965’s Doctor Zhivago, co-starring with Julie Christie. He’s also portrayed Genghis Khan, Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in the many films he’s worked on over seven decades. His last completed film credits were in 2013 for Rock The Casbah.
“It's difficult to determine what stage it's at,” his son told El Mundo. “It's obvious he'll never improve and it will get worse. 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 place or who he acted with in a specific film,” he continued.
“He remembers, for example, that it was Doctor Zhivago but he's forgotten when it was filmed. He can talk about the film but he forgets its name or he calls it something else instead like Lawrence of Arabia.”