Famed Egyptian actor Nour el-Sherif dies of illness at 69

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Egyptian actor Nour El-Sherif
In this March 2014 photo, Egyptian actor Nour El-Sherif speaks during a film festival in Cairo, Egypt.
AP Photo/Ahmed Gamil

CAIRO, Egypt -- Egypt's state news agency says well-known Egyptian actor Nour el-Sherif has died. He was 69.

The news agency said he died Tuesday after battling an unspecified long illness.

El-Sherif's big break was in the late 1960s when he played a supporting role in "The Palace of Desire," the screen adaptation of one of the novels in a trilogy by Egyptian Nobel Prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz. He went on to become one of the Arab world's top male actors for much of the 1970s and 1980s in the heydays of Egyptian cinema.

One of his later roles was a part in "The Yacoubian Building," a 2006 adaptation of a best-selling novel about Egyptian society and politics.

He was a favorite of Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, playing major roles in his films.