File photo: Egyptian actor Gamil Ratib attends a funeral in Cairo, Egypt. Image Credit: AP

Gamil Ratib, an award-winning Franco-Egyptian actor, and star of the 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia, died Wednesday, state media reported. He was 91.

Ratib’s acting career — he appeared in about 100 films in both French and Arabic — began as early as the 1940s in Cairo when he landed a role in an Arabic adaptation of The Three Musketeers. His scenes, however, were removed because his parents objected to him taking up acting.

Ratib, who died of an unspecified illness in a Cairo hospital, later traveled to study law and economics in Paris, but that did not make him abandon his passion for acting. He joined the storied “Comedie Francaise” before his big break came when he was cast in the American movie Trapeze (1956) along with Hollywood stars Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis.

His career took a giant leap forward when six years later he played an Arab named Majid in the 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia.

Meanwhile, 1967’s Peau d’Espion led to him being awarded the Legion d’Honneur de Grade de Chevalier. He was also honoured with a Lifetime Achivement Award at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2011.

Ratib returned to his native Egypt in the 1970s when his leading roles in hit movies and TV dramas earned him celebrity status across the Arab world. His roles were mostly the lovable villain or the pompous aristocrat who is contemptuous of the poor and ignorant.