Veteran actor Om Puri passes away

Veteran actor Om Puri, who delivered riveting performances in Hindi films and shone in character roles, passed away on Friday morning. He was 66. Om Puri has also acted in English and Pakistani movies, and is a Padma Shri awardee. Puri has done a lot of defining roles for art films, some of which are Aakrosh, Arohan, Ardh Satya among others. Puri was not confined to one language in the world of cinema and had played roles in Marathi, Telugu, Kannada and Punjabi films as well.

Puri also played a much acclaimed cameo in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. Born in Ambala, Haryana, in a Punjabi family, Puri graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He was also an alumnus of the 1973 class of National School of Drama, where Naseeruddin Shah was a co-student. Om Puri, along with Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, were among the critically acclaimed actors who featured in award winning films like Bhavni Bhavai (1980), Sadgati (1981), Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1986) and Dharavi (1992).

He made his film debut in the 1976 Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal. Some of his most notable films include Sandgate, Ardh Satya, Mirch Masala, Dharavi, Maachis, Gupt, Dhoop, Yuva, Don, Agneepath, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and others. He earned international fame in many British films, such as My Son the Fanatic, East Is East, The Parole Officer and others.

Film fraternity took to social media to express their condolences. “I have known Om Puri for d last 43 years. For me he will always be a great actor, a kind and generous man. And that is how world should remember him,” veteran actor Anupam Kher said in a tweet.
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Over the years, Om Puri also carved a niche in American and British productions. His Hollywood outings include City of Joy (1992) with Patrick Swayze, Wolf (1994) with Jack Nicholson and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) with Val Kilmer. He played General Zia-ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson’s War, which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

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