Friday, 6 January 2017

RIP Om Puri

The great Om Puri, veteran actor of both Bollywood, British and Hollywood productions, has sadly died at the age of 66 following a heart attack.


Puri featured in some 300 films and earned a BAFTA nomination for his star turn as George Khan, the stern head of a British Asian family in 1999's East is East, a role he would revisit in the 2011 sequel West is West. 



His career began with his film debut in 1976's Ghashiram Kotwal and he quickly followed this up with roles in Hindi art films such as Bhavni Bhavai, Sadgati, Aakrosh, and Ardh Satya, for which he won the National Film Award for Best Actor, and cult classics like Jaane Bhi Do Yaroo, Disco Dancer and Maqbool, a unique and modern-day Hindi take on Macbeth in which Puri played one of the witches.



International recognition came calling in 1982 with a memorable cameo in Richard Attenborough's epic masterpiece Gandhi. From there, Puri successfully straddled the film industry in both his native India and in Hollywood and the UK, and the roles came thick and fast; he cornered the market playing tough Indian cops in productions such as Gupt and AK 47, there was a role in ITV's The Jewel in the Crown, sharing the screen with Patrick Swayze and Pauline Collins in Roland Joffe's compelling look of Indian slum life in 1992's City of Joy, playing opposite Jack Nicholson in Wolf in 1994, and Michael Douglas in 1996's The Ghost and the Darkness, the big screen adaptation of Hanif Kureishi's short story My Son, The Fanatic in 1997, the aforementioned East Is East, Steve Coogan's The Parole Officer in 2001, the TV adaptation of Zadie Smith's bestselling White Teeth and playing Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson's War. His most recent, celebrated film role was alongside Helen Mirren in 2014's The Hundred Foot Journey.

A truly great actor, he will be greatly missed. 



RIP

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