Alas ! Actor Om Puri is no more !

It’s a very sad day for cinema to have lost an excellent and a versatile actor who has left us shockingly early for he would have contributed so much more to cinema goers who loved to see his movies and his acting.

Alas! he is no more !

Veteran actor Om Puri passed away in Mumbai, aged 66, having succumbed to a massive heart attack. A versatile artist, Puri became a key player in India’s arthouse cinema scene in the 1980s and 1990s but achieved international fame for his roles in Hollywood films such as City of Joy, Wolf, and Charlie Wilson’s War.

EAST IS EAST, Linda Bassett, Om Puri, 1999, (c) Miramax

He had been to Sydney when he came to the premier of the movie ”˜City of Joy’ accompanying Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze. With no airs Om Puri was seen calling Swayze ”˜Patrick bhai’ as the two had struck an informal chord during the movie’s shoot in Calcutta. His contribution to Indian as well as Hollywood has been enormous as he acted in more than100 films. Says Karan Johar about Om Puri, “He was a great actor of immense talent. Cinema has lost a brilliant artist.”

CITY OF JOY, from center: Om Puri, Imran Badsah Khan, Patrick Swayze, 1992. ©Tri-Star Pictures

The Padma Shri awardee, studied at the Film and Television Institute of India and at the National School of Drama, where Naseeruddin Shah was his classmate. Born on October 18, 1950, Om Puri hailed from Ambala in Haryana, made his film debut in 1976 with a Marathi film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’.

A critically acclaimed actor, Puri featured in films like ‘Ardh Satya’, ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’ and ‘Mirch Masala’. More recently, he was seen in the movies, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ and ‘Ghayal Once Again’.

Puri also had a meaty and memorable role opposite Helen Mirren in Steven Spielberg’s 2014 American comedy drama ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’.

The acclaimed actor delivered some stellar performances in mainstream commercial Pakistani, Indian and British cinema apart from making a dent in Hollywood with his roles in ‘City of Joy’, ‘Gandhi’ and ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’.


In a tweet in December Puri reflected on his four-decade career, writing: “I have no regrets at all. I have done quite well for myself. I didn’t have a conventional face, but I have done well, and I am proud of it.”

He received an honorary OBE in 2004 for his contribution to British cinema and in 1990 was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honours.

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