Om Puri

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Om Puri

OBE
OmPuriSept10TIFF.jpg
Born
Om Prakash Puri

(1950-10-08)8 October 1950
Died6 January 2017(2017-01-06) (aged 66)
Alma mater FTII
NSD
OccupationActor
Years active1972–2017
Spouse(s)
Seema Kapoor
(m. 1991;div. 1991)

Nandita Puri
(m. 1993;div. 2013)
Children1

Om Prakash Puri, OBE (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 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. [1] Puri also appeared in non-Indian productions in the United States and Britain. [2]

Contents

Puri was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 1990. [3] In 2004, he was made an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire. [4] [5]

Early life

Om Puri was born in Ambala. His father, Rajesh Puri, worked on the railways and in the Indian Army. [6] 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. [7]

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, [8] did odd jobs and collected coal from nearby railways tracks to support his family. [9] He and his brother's children were later brought up by a maid servant, Shanti. [10]

While working, Puri continued to study. After his primary education, he joined the National School of Drama in Delhi to study theatre acting. [11] 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). [10] [12] 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. [13]

Career

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. [8]

Subsequently, Puri worked in numerous Indian films, as well as many films produced in the United Kingdom and the United States. [14]

Puri made his debut in the mainstream films genre in the 1976 Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal , [15] [16] based on a Marathi play of the same name by Vijay Tendulkar. [16] It was directed by K. Hariharan and Mani Kaul in cooperation with 16 graduates of the FTII. [17] He has claimed that he was paid "peanuts" for his best work. [18] 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); [19] Jimmy's manager in Disco Dancer (1982); [20] a police inspector in Ardh Satya (1982), [20] for which he got the National Film Award for Best Actor; [21] a humble husband in Seepeeyan (1984), [22] 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, [19] struggling to come to terms with his far more westernised children.

Puri in 2009 Om Puri.jpg
Puri in 2009

Puri had a cameo in the highly acclaimed film Gandhi (1982, directed by Richard Attenborough). [19] [23] 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) [20] and The Parole Officer (2001). He appeared in Hollywood films including City of Joy (1992), [22] opposite Patrick Swayze; [23] Wolf (1994) with Jack Nicholson; [22] [23] and The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) opposite Val Kilmer. [23] In 2007, he appeared as General Zia-ul-Haq in Charlie Wilson's War , which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. [22]

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) [20] 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, [22] 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. [24]

In 2014, he appeared opposite Helen Mirren in the comedy-drama The Hundred-Foot Journey . [15] [22] At the time of his death in January 2017, he was working on the Marathi film, 15 August Bhagile 26 January. [25]

Several of his completed films released after his death including Viceroy's House and Tubelight . [26]

Personal life

Puri married director/writer Seema Kapoor, the sister of actor Annu Kapoor, in 1991, but their marriage ended after eight months. [27]

In 1993, he married journalist Nandita Puri, with whom he had a son named Ishaan. [28] [29] 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. [30] In 2013, Nandita filed an allegation of domestic violence against him, and the two opted for a judicial separation shortly afterwards. [31]

His second wife reported that they kept a "secular house", [32] but that "while Om is not ritualistic, he does not mind others being so". [32] He took "solace in spiritual reading", particularly in the writings of spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran, many of whose books he shared with friends. [32] Puri seldom took politics seriously, and often found relaxation by cooking or gardening. [32] 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. [33]

Death

On 6 January 2017, Puri died at the age of 66, after having a heart attack at his residence in Andheri, Mumbai. [34] [35] [36] He was honoured at the 89th Academy Awards in memoriam segment for his contribution in world cinema. [37]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1975Kalla Kalla Bachitko
1975Chor Chor Chhupja
1976Ghashiram KotwallGhashiram Marathi film based on play Ghashiram Kotwal
1977Smothered Voices
1977 Bhumika
1977 Godhuli
1977 Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane Servant Kannada film
1978 Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan Rajesh
1978 Bhookh Colonel
1979 Shaayad Nandlal
1979Saanch Ko Aanch Nahin
1980 Sparsh Dubey
1980 Chann Pardesi Tulsi Punjabi film
1980 Bhavni Bhavai Maanav Bhagat
1980 Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai Madhu (mechanic)
1980 Aakrosh Lahanya BhikuWon Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
1981Hari Hondal Bargadar : Share Cropper
1981 Kalyug Bhavani Pandey
1981 Shodh Surendra
1982 Gandhi Nahari
1982Disco DancerDavid Brown
1982Waqt-Waqt Ki Baat
1982 Raaste Pyar Ke Suldev
1982 Vijeta Arvind
1982Naseeb Ni BalihariGujarati film
1983Gumnaam Hai Koi
1983 Chokh Jadunath
1983 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro Ahuja
1983 Arohan Hari MondalWon, National Film Award for Best Actor
1983 Ardh Satya Anant VelankarWon, National Film Award for Best Actor
Won, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Best Actor
1983 Mandi Ram Gopal
1983Bekaraar
1983Ashray
1984 Party Avinash
1984Maati Maangey KhoonDurjan Singh
1984 Duniya Vasudev
1984Shrant
1984 Raavan Samant (Staiton Master)
1984 Paar Ram Naresh
1984Ram Ki GangaLaalu / Lal Dandhwani
1984 Tarang Namdev
1984Sheeshay Ka Ghar
1984 Giddh Bhashya
1985PaththarResham Singh
1985 Zamana Shyamlal
1985Bahu Ki AwaazAdvocate Jaswant Srivastav
1985 Holi Principal Pandey
1985 Nasoor Dr Sunil
1985SanjhiBhikhu
1985 Aghaat Trade Unionist
1985DebshishuPoor Labourer
1986Antaheen
1986 Genesis The weaver
1986 New Delhi Times Ajay Singh
1986 Long Da Lishkara DittuPunjabi film
1987Debshishu
1987 Mirch Masala Abu Mian
1987Goraa
1987 Susman Ramulu
1987 Marte Dam Tak Daulat / D.K.
1988Achanak
1988 Hum Farishte Nahin Gopi / Tala Master / Murlidhar
1988 Ek Hi Maqsad Dr. Ram Kumar Verma
1988 Puravrutham RamanMalayalam film
1989Shagun
1989Sava Ser Gehu
1989Darshana
1989 Ilaaka Bheema (Raja's Foster Father)
1990Sankranti
1990Kayedi
1990Halaat
1990 Ghayal ACP Joe D'SouzaNominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
1990 Disha Parshuram 'Pagal Parsa' Sarpat
1991 Irada Shanker
1991 Sam & Me Chetan Parikh
1991 Narsimha Suraj Narayan Singh 'Baapji'
1991Meena Bazar
1991Antarnaad
1992 Karm Yodha Sub-Inspector Patwardhan
1992 Raat SharjiHindi film
1992 Current Velu
1992 City of Joy Hazari PalEnglish film
1992 Ankuram Parvez HussainTelugu film
1992 Dharavi Rajkaran
1993Aakanksha
1993 Maya Memsaab
1993 The Burning Season Rajiv Sharma
1993 Patang Mathura
1994 Ankuram Satyam
1994 In Custody Deven
1994 Wolf Dr. Vijay AleziasEnglish film
1994 Drohkaal DCP Abhay Singh
1994Purush
1994TriyacharitraBillar
1995Ek Ka Jawab Do
1995Beparoa
1995 Zakhmi Sipahi Om Chaudhary
1995 Aatank Hi Aatank Sharad Joshi
1995Brothers in TroubleHussein Shah
1995 Target Rambharosa
1995 Tarpan Jassu
1995 Kartavya Ghulam Rasul
1996 PremGranth Baliram
1996 Krishna Minister Amar Prabhakar
1996 The Ghost and the Darkness AbdullahEnglish film
1996 Maachis SanatanNominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
1996 Ghatak: Lethal Sachdev
1996 Ram Aur Shyam D.I.G. Suryapratap Thakur
1996TalaashiInspector Puri
1997 Zameer: The Awakening of a Soul Jaichand Marwah
1997 Gupt: The Hidden Truth Inspector Udham SinghNominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
1997 My Son the Fanatic ParvezEnglish film
1997BhaiAdvocate Satyaprakash
1997 Chachi 420 Banwari lal-Secy
1997 Mrityudand Rambaran Mahto
1997NirnayakInspector Nanak
1997 Chupp Keshav Narang
1997 Aastha Amar
1998 Vinashak – Destroyer Inspector Khan
1998Zor: Never Underestimate the ForceShah Alam
1998 Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha Inspector KhanNominated, Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor
1998 Such a Long Journey Ghulam MohamedEnglish film
1998 China Gate Col. Krishnakant PuriHindi film
1999 East Is East George KhanEnglish film
Nominated, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1999 A.K.47 Commissioner Yashwant SinhaKannada film
1999 Khoobsurat Dilip Chaudhary
1999Mon petit diable
2000 Dulhan hum le jayenge Bhola Nath
2000 Pukar Colonel Hussein
2000 Hey Ram Subhash Goel
2000 Hera Pheri Khadak Singh
2000 Kunwara Balraj Singh
2000 Kurukshetra Baburao Deshmukh
2000 Ghaath Ajay Pandey
2000Zindagi Zindabad
2000Bas Yaari RakhoTom
2001 Farz ACP Arjun Singh
2001 Zahreela Arun Dev
2001 Gadar: Ek Prem Katha Narrator
2001 The Parole Officer GeorgeEnglish film
2001 Happy Now? Tin Man
2001 The Zookeeper the VetEnglish film
2001 The Mystic Masseur RamloganEnglish film
2001 Indian Joginder Singh
2001 Deewaanapan Prakash Saxena - Suraj's dad
2001 Bollywood Calling Subramaniam
2001Is Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon
2002 Pitaah Thakur Avadh Narayan Singh
2002Maa Tujhhe SalaamVoice
2002 Kranti Col. Krishnakanth
2002 Ansh: The Deadly Part Bhagat Pandey
2002 Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai Dr. S. Puri
2002 Awara Paagal Deewana Ballu Bolbachan
2002 Shararat DCP Bhosle
2002 Chor Machaye Shor DCP Pandey
2002Guru MahaaguruCrocodile
2002 Ghaav: The Wound Inspector Gautam
2002 Dhruva Kannada film
2003 Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai Sam
2003 Kash Aap Hamare Hote Yashwant Raj Mankotia
2003Ek Aur Ek Gyarah: By Hook or by CrookNarratorUncredited
2003 Code 46 BahklandEnglish film
2003Miss India: The MysteryInspector Yograj
2003 Maqbool Inspector Pandit
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 Yuva Prosonjit Bhatacharya
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
2004A. K. 47Commissioner Yashwant Sinha
2004Stop!Anand Mehra
2005Zinda Dil
2005 Kisna: The Warrior Poet Jumman Miya
2005 Mumbai Xpress ACP S.P. Rao
2005 Mangal Pandey: The Rising Narrator
2005Amar Joshi Shahid Ho GayaWriter
2005 Kyon Ki Dr.Khurana
2005 Deewane Huye Paagal Mehboob / Scientist Khurana
2005 The Hangman Shiva Sathe
2006 Rang De Basanti Amanullah Khan
2006BaghiHaakam Singh
2006 Malamaal Weekly Balwant 'Balu'
2006 Chup Chup Ke Prabhat Singh Chauhan
2006 Baabul Balwant Kapoor
2006 Don: The Chase Begins Again CBI Officer Vishal Malik
2007Khallas: The Beginning of EndA.C.P. Akhlaq Khan
2007 Delhii Heights Timmy Kohli
2007Panga Naa LoKartar Singh
2007 Fool & Final Father of Rahul / Raja
2007 Buddha Mar Gaya Vidyut Baba / Vidya
2007 Victoria No. 203 Rana
2007 Dhol Tripathi
2007 Dum Kaata Ranade / Aabu
2007 Charlie Wilson's War Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq English film
2007 Shoot on Sight Junaid
2007 Welcome Narrator
2007 Dhol Inspector Om
2008 Yaariyan Jagpal Bir 'J.B.' Singh
2008Lovesongs: Yesterday, Today & TomorrowAftab 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
2008 Maharathi ACP Gokhale
2009 Chal Chala Chal Omkar Nath
2009 Billu Sahukaar Daamchand
2009 Delhi-6 Madan Gopal Sharma
2009 Baabarr Daroga Chaturvedi
2009 London Dreams Arjun's uncle
2009 Life Goes On Alok
2009 Kurbaan Bhaijaan
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 Kushti Jiten Singh
2010 Dabangg Police Inspector
2010 West Is West George KhanEnglish 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 Khap Sarpanch
2011 Don 2: The King is Back CBI Officer Vishal Malik
2011Society Kaam Se Gayi
2012 Agneepath Additional Commissioner Gaitonde
2012 Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya Chaudhary
2012 Chaar Din Ki Chandni Fatoor Singh
2012Mere Dost Picture Abhi Baaki HaiBaig Saab - Writer
2012 Krishna Aur Kans KansVoice
2012Son of FlowerMunshi Pyare Lal Suman
2012 The Reluctant Fundamentalist Abu
2012 Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal David
2012 OMG: Oh My God! Hanif Qureshi (Hanif Bhai)
2012 Chakravyuh Govind Suryavanshi
2013 Policegiri Commissioner
2013Jatt Boys Putt Jattan DeJora VaillyPunjabi film
2013 Bhaji in Problem Punjabi film
2013The LoversUncredited
2014 Heartless Dr. Sanjay Trehan
2014 Bazaar E Husn Kishan Chand
2014 The Hundred-Foot Journey Papa KadamEnglish
2014 Aa Gaye Munde U.K. De Daleep Singh Dhillon
2014Little TerrorsAbdul-Wadood Kamil
2014 Chaar Sahibzaade NarratorPunjabi film
Voice
2015 Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan Dr. Rajendra Prasad Hindi
2015 Dirty Politics Laddu Babu aka Sai Kumar KonakandlaHindi
2015Leather Life
2015 Jai Ho Democracy Pandeyji
2015 Uvaa Hukum Pratap ChoudharyHindi
2015 Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho Matang SinghHindi
2015 Bajrangi Bhaijaan Moulana SahabHindi
2015 Welcome Back NarratorVoice
2015BuniyaadBapuji
2015 Hogaya Dimaagh Ka Dahi Mirza Kishan Singh Joseph
2015TraffickerSupreme Court Judge
2016 Ghayal Once Again ACP Joe D'SouzaHindi
2016A Million RiversShivEnglish [38] [39]
2016 Aadupuliyattam MuniMalayalam, dubbed in Tamil as Shenbaga Kottai and Telugu as Mathangi and Hindi as Mera Badla 2. [40]
Nominated, IIFA Utsavam for Performance in a Supporting Role – Male
2016Project MarathwadaTukaram
2016 Waarrior Savitri Yamraj
2016 Actor In Law Rafaqat MirzaPakistani film [41]
2016 A Death in the Gunj O.P Bakshi
2016 Mirzya Munna (Lauhar)
2016 Gandhigiri Rai Saheb
2016Yeh Hai LollipopMasoom
2016 Chaar Sahibzaade: Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur Narrator
2016 Chapekar Brothers Bal Gangadhar Tilak [42] Hindi
2016 The Jungle Book BagheeraHindi dub [43]
Voice
2017 Viceroy's House Ali Rahim NoorPosthumous release
English [44]
2017 The Ghazi Attack Admiral V.S. NandaPosthumous release
2017 Tiger Posthumous release
2017 Tubelight Banne ChachaPosthumous release
2017 Mr. Kabaadi Channulal SurmewalaPosthumous release
2018Lashtam PashtamSaleemPosthumous release
2018 Load Wedding Raja's FatherPosthumous release
2019 The Gandhi Murder T.G., Director General of PolicePosthumous release
2020 Gul Makai General KayaniPosthumous release

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1981 Sadgati DukhiTelevision film
1984 The Jewel in the Crown Mr De SouzaBritish series [45]
1985 Khandaan
1988 Bharat Ek Khoj Various characters [45]
1988 Tamas NathuTelevision film [45]
1988–1989 Mr. Yogi Narrator [45]
1988 Kakaji Kahin Kakaji [45]
1993–1994 Kirdaar Various characters [46]
1994 Woh Chokri Television film
1997 Aahat Randhir magician1 Episode
1997 Sea Hawks Uncle Sam [47]
1999AntaralShreevee
2001 CID Joe Santose2 episodes
2002 White Teeth Samad Miah IqbalBritish TV serial
2002–2003 Jasoos Vijay Presenter
2003 Second Generation SharmaTelevision film
2003 The Canterbury Tales JetenderBritish series

Awards and nominations

Wins
Nominations

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