Om Prakash Puri, (18 October 1950 – 6 January 2017) was an Indian actor who appeared in mainstream commercial Hindi films, as well as independent and art films. He is best known for his author-backed roles in films like Aakrosh (1980), Arohan (1982), Ardh Satya (1983) and television films like Sadgati (1981) and Tamas (1987) and also light-hearted roles in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) and Chachi 420 (1997). He had various collaborations with director Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani. Puri also appeared in non-Indian productions in the United States and Britain. In the 1990s, he appeared in My Son the Fanatic (1997) and the comedy drama East Is East (1999), receiving a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Padma Shri Om Puri
Om Prakash Puri
18 October 1950
|Died||6 January 2017 (aged 66)|
(m. 1991; div. 1991)
(m. 1993; div. 2013)
Om Puri was born in Ambala. His father, Rajesh Puri, worked on the railways and in the Indian Army. As he had no birth certificate or records, his family was unsure of his date and year of birth, however, his mother told him he had been born two days after the Hindu festival Dussehra. When he began his schooling, his uncle chose 9 March 1950 as his "official" birthday, however as an adult when he moved to Mumbai, Puri looked up when Dussehra was celebrated in 1950, to establish his date of birth as 18 October.
Puri came from an underprivileged background. When he was six years old, his father who was a railway employee was put behind bars on allegations of theft of cement. This resulted in their family becoming homeless. To make ends meet, Puri's brother, Ved Prakash Puri, worked as a coolie (railway porter) and Puri worked in a local tea shop, did odd jobs and collected coal from nearby railways tracks to support his family. He and his brother's children were later brought up by a maid servant, Shanti.
While working, Puri continued to study. After his primary education, he joined the National School of Drama in Delhi to study theatre acting. A fellow NSD student who became a long-term friend, Naseeruddin Shah, encouraged Puri to follow him to the Film and Television Institute of India in Poona (present-day Pune). In an interview with The Times of India, Puri later recounted his family was so poor that he did not have a decent shirt to wear when he joined FTII. According to Shah, Puri was disappointed by his education at FTII, and also was unable to pay tuition fees—when he became well-known, the institute followed up the debt of ₹280, which Puri refused to pay due to the "impish thrill" of owing them money.
Puri's first film was Chor Chor Chhup ja, a children's film. During this time, to make ends meet he also worked at the Actors' Studio, where future actors such as Gulshan Grover and Anil Kapoor would be his students.
Subsequently, Puri worked in numerous Indian films, as well as many films produced in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Puri made his debut in the mainstream films genre in the 1976 Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal, based on a Marathi play of the same name by Vijay Tendulkar. It was directed by K. Hariharan and Mani Kaul in cooperation with 16 graduates of the FTII. He has claimed that he was paid "peanuts" for his best work. Along with Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil, he was among the main actors who starred in what was then referred to as art films such as Bhavni Bhavai (1980), Sadgati (1981), Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1986) and Dharavi (1992).
He was critically acclaimed for his performances in many unconventional roles such as a victimized tribal in Aakrosh (1980); Jimmy's manager in Disco Dancer (1982); a police inspector in Ardh Satya (1982), for which he got the National Film Award for Best Actor; a humble husband in Seepeeyan (1984), Vinod's uncle in Zamana the leader of a cell of Sikh militants in Maachis (1996); as a tough cop again in the commercial film Gupt in 1997; and as the courageous father of a martyred soldier in Dhoop (2003).
In 1999, Puri acted in a Kannada film A.K. 47 as a strict police officer who tries to keep the city safe from the underworld—it became a huge commercial hit. Puri's acting in the film is memorable. He rendered his own voice for the Kannada dialogues. In the same year, he starred in the successful British comedy-drama film East is East, where he played a first-generation Pakistani immigrant in Northern England, struggling to come to terms with his far more westernised children.
Puri had a cameo in the highly acclaimed film Gandhi (1982, directed by Richard Attenborough). In the mid-1990s, he diversified to play character roles in mainstream Hindi cinema, where his roles are more tuned to mass audiences than film critics. He became known internationally by starring in many British films such as My Son the Fanatic (1997), East Is East (1999) and The Parole Officer (2001). He appeared in Hollywood films including City of Joy (1992), opposite Patrick Swayze; Wolf (1994) with Jack Nicholson; and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) opposite Val Kilmer. In 2007, he appeared as General Zia-ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson's War, which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
He has worked in Hindi television serials like Kakkaji Kaheen (1988) (roughly meaning "Uncle Says") as a paan-chewing 'Kakkaji', which was a parody on politicians, and Mr. Yogi (1989) as a suave 'Sutradhaar' who enjoys pulling the protagonist's leg. These two serials underlined Om Puri's versatility as a comedian. He received critical acclaim for his performance in Govind Nihalani's television film Tamas (1988) based on a Hindi novel of the same name. He played comic roles in Hindi films like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro which reached a cult status, followed by Chachi 420 (1997), Hera Pheri (2000), Chor Machaye Shor (2002), Deewane Hue Pagal, Chup Chup Ke, Kismet Connection and Malamaal Weekly (2006) and Oh My God. He was regular in films directed by Priyadarshan and Kamal Haasan.
His notable roles in commercial Hindi films included Drohkaal, In Custody, Narsimha, Ghayal, Mrityudand, Aastha, Hey Ram, Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha, Farz, Gadar, Lakshya, Dev (2004), Rang De Basanti, Yuva, Singh Is Kinng, Mere Baap Pehle Aap, Billu, Kyunki, Lakshya, Dabang, Bhaji in Problem, Khap, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Ghayal Once Again. Puri was seen in the role of Mohammad Ali Kasuri in Road to Sangam (2009). In 2010, he appeared in The Hangman. In 2011 he was in the Indian action film Don 2.
He has also worked in some episodes of the TV series Aahat during the second season which was aired between 2004 and 2005 on Sony channel. Other notable television appearances included Bharat Ek Khoj, Yatra, Mr. Yogi, Kakaji Kahin, Sea Hawks, Antaral and Savdhaan India's second season.
In 2014, he appeared opposite Helen Mirren in the comedy-drama The Hundred-Foot Journey. At the time of his death in January 2017, he was working on the Marathi film, 15 August Bhagile 26 January.
In 1993, he married journalist Nandita Puri, with whom he had a son named Ishaan. In 2009, Nandita wrote a biography of her husband titled Unlikely Hero: The Story of Om Puri. Upon the book's publication, Puri spoke of his anger at the inclusion of explicit details of his previous relationships. In 2013, Nandita filed an allegation of domestic violence against him, and the two opted for a judicial separation shortly afterwards.
His second wife reported that they kept a "secular house", but that "while Om is not ritualistic, he does not mind others being so". He took "solace in spiritual reading", particularly in the writings of spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran, many of whose books he shared with friends. Puri seldom took politics seriously, and often found relaxation by cooking or gardening. In an interview to Rajya Sabha TV in 2012, Om Puri spoke about his interest in agriculture and cooking, and suggested that his dream was to open a dhaba by the name Daal Roti.
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On 6 January 2017, Puri died at the age of 66, after having a heart attack at his residence in Andheri, Mumbai. He was honoured at the 89th Academy Awards in memoriam segment for his contribution in world cinema.
|1975||Kalla Kalla Bachitko|
|1975||Chor Chor Chhupja|
|1976||Ghashiram Kotwall||Ghashiram||Marathi film|
|1977||Godhuli||Hindi Kannada Bilingual|
|1977||Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane||Servant||Kannada film|
|1978||Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan||Rajesh|
|1979||Saanch Ko Aanch Nahin|
|1980||Chann Pardesi||Tulsi||Punjabi film|
|1980||Bhavni Bhavai||Maanav Bhagat||Gujarati film|
|1980||Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai||Madhu (mechanic)|
|1980||Aakrosh||Lahanya Bhiku||Won Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award|
|1981||Hari Hondal Bargadar : Share Cropper|
|1982||Disco Dancer||David Brown|
|1982||Waqt-Waqt Ki Baat|
|1982||Raaste Pyar Ke||Suldev|
|1982||Naseeb Ni Balihari||Gujarati film|
|1983||Gumnaam Hai Koi|
|1983||Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro||Ahuja|
|1983||Arohan||Hari Mondal||Won National Film Award for Best Actor|
|1983||Ardh Satya||Anant Velankar||Won National Film Award for Best Actor|
Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actor
|1984||Maati Maangey Khoon||Durjan Singh|
|1984||Ram Ki Ganga||Laalu / Lal Dandhwani|
|1984||Sheeshay Ka Ghar|
|1985||Bahu Ki Awaaz||Advocate Jaswant Srivastav|
|1986||New Delhi Times||Ajay Singh|
|1986||Long Da Lishkara||Dittu||Punjabi film|
|1987||Mirch Masala||Abu Mian|
|1987||Marte Dam Tak||Daulat / D.K.|
|1988||Hum Farishte Nahin||Gopi / Tala Master / Murlidhar|
|1988||Ek Hi Maqsad||Dr. Ram Kumar Verma|
|1989||Sava Ser Gehu|
|1989||Ilaaka||Bheema (Raja's Foster Father)|
|1990||Ghayal||ACP Joe D'Souza||Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1990||Disha||Parshuram 'Pagal Parsa' Sarpat|
|1991||Sam & Me||Chetan Parikh||English film|
|1991||Narsimha||Suraj Narayan Singh 'Baapji'|
|1992||Karm Yodha||Sub-Inspector Patwardhan|
|1992||City of Joy||Hazari Pal||English film|
|1992||Ankuram||Parvez Hussain||Telugu film|
|1993||The Burning Season||Rajiv Sharma|
|1994||Wolf||Dr. Vijay Alezias||English film|
|1994||Drohkaal||DCP Abhay Singh|
|1995||Ek Ka Jawab Do|
|1995||Zakhmi Sipahi||Om Chaudhary|
|1995||Aatank Hi Aatank||Sharad Joshi|
|1995||Brothers in Trouble||Hussein Shah||English film|
|1996||Krishna||Minister Amar Prabhakar|
|1996||The Ghost and the Darkness||Abdullah||English film|
|1996||Maachis||Sanatan||Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1996||Ram Aur Shyam||D.I.G. Suryapratap Thakur|
|1997||Zameer: The Awakening of a Soul||Jaichand Marwah|
|1997||Gupt: The Hidden Truth||Inspector Udham Singh||Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1997||My Son the Fanatic||Parvez||English film|
|1997||Chachi 420||Banwari lal-Secy|
|1998||Vinashak – Destroyer||Inspector Khan|
|1998||Zor: Never Underestimate the Force||Shah Alam|
|1998||Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha||Inspector Khan||Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1998||Such a Long Journey||Ghulam Mohamed||English film|
|1998||China Gate||Col. Krishnakant Puri||Hindi film|
|1999||East Is East||George Khan||English film|
Nominated, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
|1999||A.K.47||Commissioner Yashwant Sinha||Kannada film|
|1999||Mon petit diable||Tom||French Hindi Bilingual|
|2000||Dulhan hum le jayenge||Bhola Nath|
|2000||Hey Ram||Subhash Goel|
|2000||Hera Pheri||Khadak Singh|
|2000||Bas Yaari Rakho||Tom|
|2001||Farz||ACP Arjun Singh|
|2001||Gadar: Ek Prem Katha||Narrator|
|2001||The Parole Officer||George||English film|
|2001||Happy Now?||Tin Man||English film|
|2001||The Zookeeper||the Vet||English film|
|2001||The Mystic Masseur||Ramlogan||English film|
|2001||Deewaanapan||Prakash Saxena - Suraj's dad|
|2001||Bollywood Calling||Subramaniam||English film|
|2001||Is Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon|
|2002||Pitaah||Thakur Avadh Narayan Singh|
|2002||Maa Tujhhe Salaam||voice|
|2002||Ansh: The Deadly Part||Bhagat Pandey|
|2002||Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai||Dr. S. Puri|
|2002||Awara Paagal Deewana||Ballu Bolbachan|
|2002||Chor Machaye Shor||DCP Pandey|
|2002||Ghaav: The Wound||Inspector Gautam|
|2003||Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai||Sam|
|2003||Kash Aap Hamare Hote||Yashwant Raj Mankotia|
|2003||Ek Aur Ek Gyarah: By Hook or by Crook||Narrator||Uncredited|
|2003||Code 46||Bahkland||English film|
|2003||Miss India: The Mystery||Inspector Yograj|
|2003||Chupke Se||Qasim Khan Qayamat|
|2003||Kagaar: Life on the Edge||Sub-Inspector Gokhale|
|2003||Dhoop||Father of Dead Military Man|
|2003||Pyaar Kiya Nahin Jaata||Om Prakash Khurana|
|2004||Aan: Men at Work||Police Commissioner Khurana|
|2004||Dev||Special Commissioner Tejinder Khosla|
|2004||Lakshya||Subedar Maj. Pritam Singh|
|2004||Kyun! Ho Gaya Na...||Mr. Khanna|
|2004||King of Bollywood||Karan Kumar|
|2004||A. K. 47||Commissioner Yashwant Sinha|
|2005||Kisna: The Warrior Poet||Jumman Miya|
|2005||Mumbai Xpress||ACP S.P. Rao|
|2005||Mangal Pandey: The Rising||Narrator|
|2005||Amar Joshi Shahid Ho Gaya||Writer|
|2005||Deewane Huye Paagal||Mehboob / Scientist Khurana|
|2005||The Hangman||Shiva Sathe|
|2006||Rang De Basanti||Amanullah Khan|
|2006||Malamaal Weekly||Balwant 'Balu'|
|2006||Chup Chup Ke||Prabhat Singh Chauhan|
|2006||Don: The Chase Begins Again||CBI Officer Vishal Malik|
|2007||Khallas: The Beginning of End||A.C.P. Akhlaq Khan|
|2007||Delhii Heights||Timmy Kohli|
|2007||Panga Naa Lo||Kartar Singh|
|2007||Fool & Final||Father of Rahul / Raja|
|2007||Buddha Mar Gaya||Vidyut Baba / Vidya|
|2007||Victoria No. 203||Rana|
|2007||Dum Kaata||Ranade / Aabu|
|2007||Charlie Wilson's War||Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq||English film|
|2007||Shoot on Sight||Junaid|
|2008||Yaariyan||Jagpal Bir 'J.B.' Singh|
|2008||Lovesongs: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow||Aftab Jaffrey|
|2008||Mere Baap Pehle Aap||Madhav Mathur|
|2008||Kismat Konnection||Sanjeev Gill|
|2008||Money Hai Toh Honey Hai||Narrator|
|2008||Singh Is Kinng||Rangeela|
|2008||Mukhbiir||SP Intelligence — Rathod|
|2009||Chal Chala Chal||Omkar Nath|
|2009||Delhi-6||Madan Gopal Sharma|
|2009||London Dreams||Arjun's uncle|
|2009||Life Goes On||Alok|
|2009||Bolo Raam||Inspector Indrajeet Singh Rathi|
|2010||Road to Sangam||Mohammad Ali Kasuri|
|2010||Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke||Sankata Prasad Tripathi|
|2010||Dabangg||Inspector Kasturilal Vishkarma|
|2010||West Is West||George Khan||English film|
|2010||Action Replayy||Rai Bhahadur|
|2011||Teen Thay Bhai||Chixie Gill|
|2011||Kucch Luv Jaisaa||Madhu's Father|
|2011||Love Express||Khadak Singh Bakshi|
|2011||Bin Bulaye Baraati||Sub Inspector Pralay Pratap Singh|
|2011||Don 2: The King is Back||CBI Officer Vishal Malik|
|2011||Society Kaam Se Gayi|
|2012||Agneepath||Additional Commissioner Gaitonde|
|2012||Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya||Chaudhary|
|2012||Chaar Din Ki Chandni||Fatoor Singh|
|2012||Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baaki Hai||Baig Saab|
|2012||Krishna Aur Kans||Kans||Voice|
|2012||Son of Flower||Munshi Pyare Lal Suman|
|2012||The Reluctant Fundamentalist||Abu|
|2012||Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal||David|
|2012||OMG: Oh My God!||Hanif Qureshi|
|2013||Jatt Boys Putt Jattan De||Jora Vailly||Punjabi film|
|2013||Bhaji in Problem||Mr. Dhingra (Jeeta's uncle)||Punjabi film|
|2014||Heartless||Dr. Sanjay Trehan|
|2014||Bazaar E Husn||Kishan Chand|
|2014||The Hundred-Foot Journey||Papa Kadam||English|
|2014||Aa Gaye Munde U.K. De||Daleep Singh Dhillon|
|2014||Little Terrors||Abdul-Wadood Kamil|
|2014||Chaar Sahibzaade||Narrator||Punjabi film|
|2015||Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan||Dr. Rajendra Prasad||Hindi|
|2015||Dirty Politics||Laddu Babu aka Sai Kumar Konakandla||Hindi|
|2015||Leather Life||Punjabi film|
|2015||Jai Ho Democracy||Pandeyji|
|2015||Uvaa||Hukum Pratap Choudhary||Hindi|
|2015||Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho||Matang Singh||Hindi|
|2015||Bajrangi Bhaijaan||Moulana Sahab||Hindi|
|2015||Hogaya Dimaagh Ka Dahi||Mirza Kishan Singh Joseph|
|2015||Trafficker||Supreme Court Judge||English language Singaporean Thai film|
|2016||Ghayal Once Again||ACP Joe D'Souza||Hindi|
|2016||A Million Rivers||Shiv||English|
|2016||Aadupuliyattam||Muni||Malayalam film |
Nominated, IIFA Utsavam for Performance in a Supporting Role – Male
|2016||Actor In Law||Rafaqat Mirza||Pakistani film|
|2016||A Death in the Gunj||O.P Bakshi|
|2016||Yeh Hai Lollipop||Masoom|
|2016||Chaar Sahibzaade: Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur||Narrator|
|2016||Chapekar Brothers||Bal Gangadhar Tilak|
|2017||Viceroy's House||Ali Rahim Noor||Posthumous release |
|2017||The Ghazi Attack||Admiral V.S. Nanda||Posthumous release|
|2017||Tubelight||Banne Chacha||Posthumous release|
|2017||Mr. Kabaadi||Channulal Surmewala||Posthumous release|
|2018||Lashtam Pashtam||Saleem||Posthumous release|
|2018||Load Wedding||Raja's Father||Posthumous release , Pakistani film|
|2019||The Gandhi Murder||T.G., Director General of Police||Posthumous release|
|2020||Gul Makai||General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani||Posthumous release|
|2020||Omprakash Zindabad||Om Prakash||Posthumous release|
|1984||The Jewel in the Crown||Mr De Souza||British series|
|1988||Bharat Ek Khoj||Various characters|||
|1994||Woh Chokri||Television film|
|1997||Aahat||Randhir magician||1 episode|
|1997||Sea Hawks||Uncle Sam|||
|2001||CID||Joe Santose||episodes: The case of Counterfeit Cop Part I and II|
|2002||White Teeth||Samad Miah Iqbal||British TV serial|
|2003||Second Generation||Sharma||Television film|
|2003||The Canterbury Tales||Jetender||British series|
Awards and nominationsEdit
- 1981: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Aakrosh
- 1981: National Film Award for Best Actor (29th National Film Awards) for Arohan
- 1983: National Film Award for Best Actor (31st National Film Awards) for Ardh Satya
- 1984: Best Actor at 1984 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for Ardh Satya.
- 1990: Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award
- 1998: Grand Prix Special des Amériques Montréal World Film Festival for exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art
- 2004: Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to The British Film Industry
- 2009: Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
- 1990: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Ghayal
- 1997: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Maachis
- 1998: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Gupt: The Hidden Truth
- 1999: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha
- 1999: BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for East Is East
- 2017: IIFA Utsavam for Performance in a Supporting Role – Male for Aadupuliyattam
- 2017: 16th Lux Style Awards Best Supporting Actor for Actor in Law
- Gulzar, Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Publisher Popular Prakashan. p. 606. ISBN 978-8179910665. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
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- "Om Puri's 'Marathi debut". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
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- "Academy Awards 2017 Pay Tribute To Om Puri, Actor Mentioned In 'Memorium' Segment At Oscars". indiatimes.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "Patiala-born filmmaker to discuss her new Partition film in NY". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 31 December 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- "A Million Rivers". 18 June 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- "Om Puri's first Pakistani film to release on Eidul Azha". The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 19 April 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "Om Puri to play Bal Gangadhar Tilak onscreen". Hindustantimes.com. 17 February 2015. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- Joshi, Namrata (6 January 2017). "Prakash Electronics: Short circuit" – via www.thehindu.com.
- Chadha, Gurinder (6 January 2017). "Om Puri remembered: a man of wit and compassion who put a human face on a label". Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017 – via The Guardian.
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- "Actor Om Puri no more; 5 TV series where he stole the show with his incredible talent". Archived from the original on 23 March 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
- "Gulzar to be seen in a prime time serial 'Kirdar'". 31 October 1993. Archived from the original on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Om Puri.|
- Om Puri at IMDb
- Veteran actor Om Puri passes away, Bollywood mourns his demise – The Times of India, 6 January 2017.