Veteran actor Om Puri passes away at 66

Published: January 6, 2017

Veteran Bollywood actor Om Puri passed away early Friday morning in Mumbai.

Puri, 66, died from cardiac arrest, close friend and actor Anupam Kher told Reuters.

Bollywood should make more ‘socially conscious films’, says Om Puri

Born on October 18, 1950, the actor made his film debut in the 1976 film Ghashiram Kotwal. He was known for his performances in Indian, as well as Pakistani and Hollywood movies.

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.

Puri was also awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire). He was given the Padma Shri in 1990 for his contribution to cinema. Among Puri’s well known films were Aakrosh (1980), Ardh Satya (1982) for which he won the National Award for Best Actor, and British film East is East (1999).

Puri made a name for himself in the 1980s with the alternative art cinema that found a niche audience in India, playing several memorable characters that depicted the anger and angst of those times.

He also worked in a number of Hollywood and British films, including “The Reluctant Fundamentalist“, “East is East“, and most recently in “The Hundred-Foot Journey“.

In October last year, a police complaint was filed against the veteran actor for his comments that were found to be insulting to Indian soldiers by a section of the film industry. Complainant Prithvi Maske said, “Referring to the Indian Army and soldiers, he [Om Puri] said that we had not given the invitation to the soldiers of the Indian Army. They joined the army at their will.” During a debate on a TV channel, Puri had said: “Did we force them to join the army? My father was also in the army… We are proud of them (soldiers)… I am asking you: Do you want India and Pakistan to become Israel and Palestine?

Om Puri accused of insulting Indian Army, complaint filed

The actor’s fans and loved ones took to Twitter to express grief.


Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (16)

  • Mahboob Ali Qureshi
    Jan 6, 2017 - 9:21AM

    It is very heartbreaking news, Om Puri was not only a good actor but an ambassador of peace too. Om Puri played a good role in mending the connection between people of India and Pakistan.The love and respect he gave to Pakistani people will always be missed. Rest in peace. Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jan 6, 2017 - 9:36AM

    Big Human Being , Big Actor , Big LostRecommend

  • Whats in the Name
    Jan 6, 2017 - 9:48AM

    For me he will be remembered for the roles East Is East and West Is Wes amongst many other movies. RIP Om Puri Sir.Recommend

  • Khan A
    Jan 6, 2017 - 9:59AM

    Really sad news. He was a very talented actor, brought natural acting to all his roles, loved all his movies! And such a fine human. RIP :(Recommend

    Jan 6, 2017 - 10:10AM

    “Real charismatic actor, sad demise of Mr. Om Puri. A great loss indeed.”Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Jan 6, 2017 - 10:11AM

    Great actor.As a human being,I don’t know.He was one of the best talent of Bollywood.RIPRecommend

  • Ts
    Jan 6, 2017 - 11:23AM

    Great actor and human being.Lots of prayers to the legend from people of pakistanRecommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 6, 2017 - 1:15PM

    Him along with his brother rank among my all time favorite actors; RIP !Recommend

  • Shahid
    Jan 6, 2017 - 1:16PM

    excellent actor and a great person. RIP dear friendRecommend

  • Sidra
    Jan 6, 2017 - 2:16PM

    Many actors come and go but ones like Om Puri are rare gems who act and speak responsibly on camera and off camera..He was a thorough gentleman who struggled to bridge gaps between both nations within best of his capacity..May his soul rest in peace..Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 6, 2017 - 2:43PM

    Great actor, great human being , he will be missed. RIP


  • Feroz
    Jan 6, 2017 - 4:28PM

    Om Puri’s “Ardh Satya” in 1982 made a major impact and marked him as an actor not just with immense talent but one who looked for challenging roles. Clearly not the type of actor who would frolic, sing songs and run around trees for any amount of money. Acting was a serious business and profession and he would never demean his profession by taking on roles that required very little acting. An extra ordinary human being who was simple and humble and could easily relate to the travails of the common man on the street. Recommend

  • Bills
    Jan 6, 2017 - 5:27PM

    The finest actor of our times.RIPRecommend

  • LS
    Jan 6, 2017 - 7:16PM

    @Haji Atiya:
    Om Puri’s brother? He had none…Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 6, 2017 - 8:07PM

    Apologies; always thought Amrish Puri was his brother, who died some years back; the actor who sported a mustache and had very expressive eyes. He was indeed another very fine actor.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Jan 7, 2017 - 7:19PM


More in Life & Style