Om Puri, one of India’s finest actors, dies at 66

Om Puri, one of Indian film industry’s most versatile actors, passed away after a heart attack on Friday morning at his residence in Mumbai. The actor was 66. Giving more details, Shabana Azmi tweeted, “Om Puri undergoing postmortem at cooper hospital will be taken to trishul around 3PM Funeral at oshiwara electric crematorium.”

People from the film fraternity arrived at his Andheri residence to pay their last respects.

Celebrated worldwide for his strong portrayal of various characters, Om Puri started his career in the Indian Film Industry with a Marathi movie Ghasiram Kotwal. The actor was not confined to Bollywood only. He has played various roles in Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Punjabi and English films as well.

He was seen in many British films such as My son the Fanatic, East is east, The parole officer and many others. He also played a cameo in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. He made his mark in Hollywood as well with movies like City of joy and The reluctant Fundamentalist.

An alumna of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and National School of Drama, Om Puri was also awarded  the Padma Shree. He has won a National Award in the Best actor category for his role in Ardh Satya (1983) and Arohan (1982). He was also nominated for the Best actor BAFTA for his role in East is east in 2000. His role received much appreciation in movies like Dharavi (1992), Sadgati (1981), Ardh satya (1983), Dhoop (2003), Arohan (1982) among others.

Hailing from a village in Punjab, Om Puri grew up as an introvert. Unlike his contemporaries like Naseeruddin Shah, he didn’t have the kind of looks which could fetch him the role of a main lead. However, his love and dedication for the art compensated for all of that.

The actor was in news recently, when his second wife Nandita Puri, who also wrote a biography on him, filed a domestic violence case against him.

People from the film fraternity and political arenas expressed their shock and grief over the actor’s demise. Narendra Modi, Karan Johar, Mahesh Bhatt, Boman Irani and many others took to twitter to pay their respects to the man who emerged as the face of the common man.

His funeral will take place at the Oshiwara electric Crematorium in Mumbai.