Wonderful person, great actor: Om Puri’s death saddens Ambala artistes | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Wonderful person, great actor: Om Puri’s death saddens Ambala artistes

Puri’s childhood friend and senior journalist Naresh Kaushal told Hindustan Times that the Ardh Satya actor was born in Ambala where his father worked as a railway employee for a few years.

bollywood Updated: Jan 06, 2017 15:52 IST
Rajesh Moudgil
Om Puri was a FTII and NSD graduate.
Om Puri was a FTII and NSD graduate.

The news of veteran actor Om Puri’s death on Friday shook the artiste fraternity in his native city Ambala in Haryana and other parts of the region.

Puri, one of the finest actors who straddled both the commercial and parallel cinema with great ease, died at his Mumbai residence after a massive heart attack. He was 66.

Puri’s childhood friend and senior journalist Naresh Kaushal told Hindustan Times that the Ardh Satya actor was born in Ambala where his father worked as a railway employee for a few years.

“However, Puris shifted to adjoining village Sanaur in the neighbouring Patiala district where we studied together in the government high school up to matric and he later went to Khalsa College, Patiala before taking admission in the National School of Drama (NSD) in 1968-69,” Kaushal, who flew to Mumbai to attend the actor’s cremation, said.

Kaushal also fondly remembered how Puri would never miss a happy occasion in his family and attended the weddings of his three daughters in Chandigarh and Panchkula.

“In later years, Puri would take me a few times and roam around the Ambala railway station, trying hard for hours to locate the locality or house he was born. But he could not locate it because massive changes had taken place in the area,” he said.

Senior actor Kuldeep Sharma, former director of Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, also fondly remembered Puri as a wonderful person and a great actor. “Whenever he visited Chandigarh, he made it a point to meet us and discuss for hours various happenings in the field of art, especially theatre,” Sharma said.

Anil Dutt, a theatre actor from Ambala, also said that the news had shaken artistes of Ambala.

Puri graduated from Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India and later 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 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 for films such as City of Joy, Wolf and The Ghost and the Darkness.