LONDON, May 24 (UPI) -- Omar Sharif's son says the Egyptian-born actor has been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past three years and is now retired.
Sharif, 83, is best known for his performances in the cinema classics Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago.
"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," The Telegraph quoted the actor's son Tarek El-Sharif as telling the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
"There are times of the day when he's better and others in which he feels confused. He knows who he is, but not necessarily the reason people greet him. When someone sees him in the street and approaches him, he often thinks it's someone he used to know whose name and face he's forgotten when, most of the time, it's just a fan," El-Sharif explained. "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 remembers, for example, that it was Doctor Zhivago, but he's forgotten when it was filmed."