Bollywood’s American actor Tom Alter passes away

Fluent in Hindi, Urdu and knowledgeable of Indian culture, he is remembered for his role as British officer in Kranti

News Desk September 30, 2017
Actor Tom Alter. PHOTO: FILE

Bollywood’s veteran theatre and film personality Tom Alter died on Friday after losing battle against skin cancer in Mumbai.

The 67-year-old actor of American descent is survived by his wife Carol, son Jamie and daughter Afghan, Hindustan Times reported.

“It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father. Tom passed away Friday night at home with his family and close family members in attendance. We ask for their privacy to be respected at this time,” a statement issued by his family read.

Born to American parents in Mussourie, India; Alter debuted in Bollywood with director Ramanand Sagar’s Charas in 1976. Fluent in Hindi, Urdu and knowledgeable of Indian culture, he had worked for noted filmmakers like Satyajit Ray in Shatranj Ke Khilari and is remembered for his role as a British officer in Kranti.

He also acted in foreign films, notably Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi and One Night with the King.

Alter also had a flourishing stage career, and was among the most respected names in the Indian theatre circuit. His portrayal of Mirza Ghalib and Maulana Azad won him accolades from all quarters. His other important plays include Babur ke Aulaad, Lal Qile ka Aakhri Mushaiara, Ghalib ke Khat, and the theatrical reproduction of William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns.

In 2008, he was bestowed with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of India, for his service in the field of arts and cinema.

His sudden death came as a shock to the film fraternity, who paid their last respects to the actor


AK | 3 years ago | Reply RIP Tom Alter.......... He had been one of my favorite actors with great accent.
Shakti | 3 years ago | Reply Tom Alter was born in India to American parents who had taken up Indian citizenship. That makes Tom an Indian with US-origin parents. He was by no means a Bollywood icon and his Caucasian origin meant that he was stereotyped. He mostly played the British invader and his redeeming skill was that he could speak good Hindi and Urdu.
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