Hollywood veteran Omar Sharif is battling Alzheimer's disease, his spokesperson has confirmed.

The actor's agent Steve Kenis told The AP that Sharif has been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease.

Omar's son Tarek Sharif first revealed the news in an interview with Spanish outlet El Mundo.

Sharif most recently appeared on the big screen in the 2013 French-Moroccan film Rock the Casbah, and appeared in the television series The Ten Commandments and The Traveller in the last decade.

The Egyptian actor's English-language breakthrough came in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and earned him two Golden Globe Awards, and led to his casting in another Golden Globe-winning title role in Doctor Zhivago (1965).

He would become a Hollywood icon over the next decade, with prominent parts in films such as Funny Girl, Juggernaut and Top Secret!