Om Puri, one of the most celebrated actors in India, died of a heart attack at his home in Mumbai this morning. He was 66.
In an illustrious career spanning four decades, Om Puri acted in over 250 films, his popularity transcending borders and traditional classifications. The actor was awarded the Padma Shri in 1990.
Born in Ambala, Haryana, to a Railway officer, Om Puri studied at Pune’s famous Film and Television Institute of India. He was also in the class of 1973 at the National School of Drama, where Naseeruddin Shah was a fellow student.
Om Puri debuted in the 1976 Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal, based on a play by Vijay Tendulkar.
He rose to fame with groundbreaking films like Ardh Satya, Aakrosh and Paar. His popularity straddled mainstream films and what was described in the 1980s as parallel cinema.
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), S
He played a notable cameo in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi In the 1990s, he ventured into commercial films that catered to the masses rather than critics.
Om puri apOne of his most memorable performances was in the film Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.
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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