Veteran actor Om Puri, who gave countless memorable performances in movies of diverse genres, died at his residence on Friday morning after a massive heart attack.
He was 66.
“He passed away this morning due to a massive heart attack at his residence in suburban Andheri. It’s shocking,” a family source said.
Among the pioneers of India’s parallel cinema, Puri’s filmography spans across Bollywood and Hollywood, independent and art films.
Known for his versatility, Puri’s acclaim earned him the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest civilian award, in 1990.
The shocking news of his death spread almost immediately on social media, with industry heavy weights such as Karan Johar, Akshay Kumar and Javed Akhrar and Anupam Kher condoling the loss.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted his condolences over Puri’s demise, and recalled his long career in theatre and films.
Born to a Punjabi family in Ambala, Haryana, Puri graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He later graduated from the National School of Drama in 1973, where colleague Naseeruddin Shah was also a student.
In 1976, Puri made his movie debut in Marathi, in the film Ghashiram Kotwal.
Some of his most notable films include Bhavni Bhavai, Sandgate, Ardh Satya, Mirch Masala, Dharavi, Aakrosh, Maachis, Gupt, Dhoop, Yuva, Don, Agneepath, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and others.
He also featured in several mainstream Pakistani, British and Hollywood commercial films, earning international fame in British films such as My Son the Fanatic, East Is East and The Parole Officer among others.
In Hollywood, he is remembered in films such as City of Joy, Wolf and The Ghost and the Darkness.