HT Image
HT Image

Mogambo Amrish Puri lives on: A tribute

It is the 5th death anniversary of veteran actor Amrish Puri. Immortal for a variety of performances in over 400 films, the actor continues to enthrall and entertain with his body of work. Here's a look at his personal and professional journey...
By HT Correspondent | None
UPDATED ON JAN 11, 2010 07:53 PM IST
It is the 5th death anniversary of veteran actor Amrish Puri. Immortal for a variety of performances in over 400 films, the actor continues to enthrall and entertain with his body of work. Here's a look at his personal and professional journey...

Kith and kin
Amrish Lal Puri was born on June 22, 1932 in district Nawanshehar near Jalandhar in Punjab and died on this day in 2005. His parents were Lala Nihal Chand and Ved Kaur. He had four siblings, elder brothers Chaman Puri and Madan Puri elder sister Chandrakanta, and a younger brother, Harish Puri. He graduated from BM College in Shimla. He came to Mumbai with not even hundred rupees in his pocket and made it big with his sheer hard work, perseverance, and disciplined lifestyle. He married Urmila Divekar on January 5, 1957. The couple had two children, son Rajeev Puri, and daughter Namrata Puri.

Initial struggle
By the time Amrish arrived in Bombay, his brother Madan Puri was already an established actor, known for playing negative roles. Amrish failed his first screen test and had to find a job with the Ministry of Labour.

Meanwhile he started performing at the Prithvi Theatre, in plays written by Satyadev Dubey, and eventually became well-known as a stage actor. He won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1979. The recognistion as a theatre artist led to work in ads and eventually to films at the age of 40.

Amrish Puri went on to work in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Telugu and Tamil films. Though he was successful in language films, he is best known for his work in Bollywood cinema.

Career in Bollywood
In 1970 he appeared in his first film, Prem Pujari although the first film he had signed was Reshma Aur Shera which released in 1971. This was followed by many negative or supporting roles in numerous art films such as Shyam Benegal's Nishant, Manthan, and Bhumika and Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda. His finest and most memorable art film role was Govind Nihalani's Ardh Satya in which he was cast with Om Puri. He also appeared in Govind Nihalani's film, Party in 1984.

In 1987, however, one film changed his entire career graph. He attracted a great deal of attention for his work in the 1987 hit film Mr. India, directed by Shekhar Kapur. He played the evil Mogambo, who encouraged his underlings with the phrase, "Mogambo khush hua". The phrase became very popular and remains one of the most famous dialogues till date in the industry.

He also portrayed several positive characters, including his famous role as Baldev Singh in the Indian blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), a kind-hearted American businessman in Pardes (1997) and a genial grandfather in the film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001).

His last film was Kisna: The Warrior Poet. The film was released a few days after his death. He appeared in over four hundred movies.

Hollywood calling
He is known to international audiences for his role in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982) and as the main antagonist Mola Ram in the Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).

Regional films
After twenty years, he returned to Punjabi cinema in the acclaimed film Shaheed Uddham Singh (2000). He also appeared in Telugu movies such as Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari, Major Chandrakanth, Aditya-369,Kondaveeti Donga, Aswamedham, Aakhari Poratam etc. Amrish Puri appeared in the Tamil film Dalapathi (1991), directed by Mani Ratnam, opposite South Indian superstars Rajnikanth and Mammootty.

After Dalapathi, Amrish Puri made his second and last appearance in the Rajinkanth's film Baba (2002) in which Amrish Puri played the role of an evil tantrik who helps politicians and other evil elements to succeed in their hideous schemes. Amrish Puri had also acted in few Kannada movies such as Simhada Mari Saniya, Subbi Subbaka Suvalali, Love and few other movies. His dominating screen presence and booming voice made him stand out amongst a sea of actors.

Awards galore
In his career, he was awarded with many prestigious awards, including Maharashtra State Drama Competition (1968), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Theatre (1979), Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, for Meri Jung (1986), Maharashtra State Gaurav Puraskar (1991) Sydney Film Festival, Best Actor Award – Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (1994), Singapore Film Festival, Best Actor Award – Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda (1994), Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, Ghatak (1997), Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actor, Ghatak (1997), Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, Virasat (1998), Star Screen Award Best Supporting Actor, Virasat (1998).

Amrish Puri was indispensable during the 80s and 90s and Bollywood producers and directors never thought of making any film without the versatile actor. His autobiography titled, 'The Act of Life' was published in 2006, and is seen as the document of the cinema of his times.

- With inputs from News Tomorrow

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Dharmendra is proud of Mohammed Siraj for how he played the match despite his father's recent death.
Dharmendra is proud of Mohammed Siraj for how he played the match despite his father's recent death.

Dharmendra is proud of Mohammed Siraj for playing match despite father's death

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 09:55 AM IST
Dharmendra has shared an emotional note on Twitter, dedicated to cricketer Mohammed Siraj. The actor is proud of how Siraj continued to play despite his father's recent death.
Close
Rashmi Rocket stars Taapsee Pannu and Priyanshu Painyuli in prominent roles.
Rashmi Rocket stars Taapsee Pannu and Priyanshu Painyuli in prominent roles.

Rashmi Rocket: Makers release new still with Taapsee Pannu, Priyanshu Painyuli

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 09:01 AM IST
A new still from the upcoming sports drama, Rashmi Rocket, was shared by Taapsee Pannu, Priyanshu Painyuli and the makers of the film. See it here.
Close
Looks like Bernie Sanders had a jolly good time with Priyanka and her family.
Looks like Bernie Sanders had a jolly good time with Priyanka and her family.

Priyanka Chopra shares hilarious memes of Bernie Sanders meeting her family

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 08:54 AM IST
Priyanka Chopra has shared some hilarious pictures of herself and her family with a Bernie Sanders twist. She tagged Nick Jonas, her mother, her brother and the team of The White Tiger in her posts.
Close
Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14, 2020.
Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14, 2020.

Sushant Singh Rajput: Street in Delhi to be named after the late actor

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:56 AM IST
Street in New Delhi will be named after Sushant Singh Rajput. The late actor, who died in June last year, would have turned 35 on Thursday.
Close
Aly Goni had an ugly fight with Abhinav Shukla. (Colors)
Aly Goni had an ugly fight with Abhinav Shukla. (Colors)

Bigg Boss 14: Aly fights with Abhinav, VJ Andy says he looks like a 'fool'

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:28 AM IST
Bigg Boss 14: Aly Goni spat a few times on the floor, during his fight with Abhinav Shukla, and asked the latter to lick it, an act which drew criticism on Twitter.
Close
Sonali Phogat again threw food and Rubina and Nikki were angry.,(Colors)
Sonali Phogat again threw food and Rubina and Nikki were angry.,(Colors)

Bigg Boss 14 promo: Sonali throws food, Rubina and Nikki get angry

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:20 AM IST
Bigg Boss 14 promo: After Sonali Phogat throws food, Rubina Dilaik gets extremely angry, and says, 'we are adjusting with her 'VIP nature', but that doesn't mean she will disrespect food'.
Close
Rubina Dilaik won two pageants before becoming an actor.
Rubina Dilaik won two pageants before becoming an actor.

Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rubina Dilaik’s then-and-now photo goes viral

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 07:09 AM IST
Rubina Dilaik, who is one of the most popular contestants on the ongoing season of Bigg Boss 14, won two pageants before becoming an actor. A then-and-now photo of her is going viral.
Close
Rakhi Sawant and Rubina Dilaik have been good friends for a few days now.(Colors)
Rakhi Sawant and Rubina Dilaik have been good friends for a few days now.(Colors)

Bigg Boss 14 day 107: Rakhi fights with Rubina over coffee, says 'I can also win

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:24 AM IST
Bigg Boss 14 written update day 107: Rakhi Sawant has been supporting Rubina Dilaik and her husband Abhinav Shukla for a few days now.
Close
Eijaz Khan and Pavitra Punia fell in love during Bigg Boss 14.
Eijaz Khan and Pavitra Punia fell in love during Bigg Boss 14.

Eijaz says he met Pavitra's brother to assure him of 'noble' intentions with her

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:17 PM IST
  • Eijaz Khan said that he and Pavitra Punia are serious about each other. He added that their families are also involved in their relationship.
Close
Suhana Khan has shared a new social media post.
Suhana Khan has shared a new social media post.

Suhana Khan shows off her jewellery collection in blingy new pic, see here

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 08:35 PM IST
  • Shah Rukh Khan's daughter, Suhana Khan, has shared a new picture on Instagram Stories, showing off her necklace collection.
Close
Sushant Singh Rajput's niece Mallika Singh shared precious memories with him.
Sushant Singh Rajput's niece Mallika Singh shared precious memories with him.

Sushant’s niece shares unseen photos from family album on his birth anniversary

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 08:12 PM IST
  • Sushant Singh Rajput's niece, Mallika Singh, shared precious memories with him on his birth anniversary. She said that she misses him ‘more than (he) can ever imagine’.
Close
Mira Rajput has indicated that her vacation is about to end.
Mira Rajput has indicated that her vacation is about to end.

Mira Rajput savours 'last sunset' of Goa trip with Shahid Kapoor, see pic

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 07:57 PM IST
  • Mira Rajput has shared new pictures from her Goa vacation with Shahid Kapoor. See her latest posts here.
Close
Kangana Ranaut claimed liberals are 'desperate' to get her Twitter account suspended.
Kangana Ranaut claimed liberals are 'desperate' to get her Twitter account suspended.

Kangana Ranaut slams Twitter for justifying restriction of her account

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 07:40 PM IST
  • Kangana Ranaut criticised Twitter after a representative justified temporary restriction of her account, citing her now-deleted anti-Tandav tweet.
Close
Anil Kapoor played Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh's father in Dil Dhadakne Do.
Anil Kapoor played Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh's father in Dil Dhadakne Do.

Anil didn't want to play Priyanka’s dad as they were once offered romantic films

UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 09:08 PM IST
  • Anil Kapoor was sceptical about playing Priyanka Chopra's father in Dil Dhadakne Do, as they were offered films as a romantic pair in the past. His son, Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor, convinced him to take up the role.
Close
Losing Alice review: Ayelet Zurer and Lihi Kornowski engage in a game of cat-and-mouse in the new Apple series.
Losing Alice review: Ayelet Zurer and Lihi Kornowski engage in a game of cat-and-mouse in the new Apple series.

Losing Alice review: Apple's erotic thriller is too timid to bare it all

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 06:47 PM IST
  • Losing Alice review: Despite a couple of strong performances by Ayelet Zurer and Lihi Kornowski, Apple's Israeli series can't make the most of its promising premise.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP