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Om Puri
Also known as: Om Rajesh Puri
Actor • Voice Cast • Narrator
Born: October 18, 1950 in Ambala, Haryana, India
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About
Om Puri was an Indian actor who had appeared in several Indian, Pakistani, Hollywood, and British films. He was amongst the few commercial actors who, during the 80s, ventured into art-house films such as Ardh Satya (1982), and Mirch Masala (1986) and found success there as well. Puri appeared in several successful movies such as Aakrosh (1980), Arohan (1982), Ghayal (1990) and Maachis (1996). He had also been awarded India`s fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri.

Early Life
Om Puri was born into a Punjabi Hindu family in Haryana. He graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India. Puri later enrolled at the National School of Drama and was an alumnus of the class of 1973.

Personal Life
Om Puri was married to Nandita for a period of 20 years - from 1993 to 2013. The couple separated in 2013 and have a son, Ishaan. Om Puri passed away in the year 2017, due to a heart attack.

Movie Career
Om Puri made his acting debut with the Marathi movie Ghashiram Kotwal in 1976. Directed by K. Hariharan and Mani Kaul, 16 graduates from the FTII also worked on the movie then. A couple of years later, he appeared in the role of a Marxist man in the movie Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978) directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza. After appearing in another movie directed by Saaed Mirza, Albert Pinto Ko Ghussa Kyoon Aata Hai (1980), he was cast as Lahanya Bhiku, a victimized tribal, in the arthouse movie Aakrosh (1980), directed by Govind Nihalani. The movie went on to win six Filmfare awards with Om Puri winning the Best Supporting Actor award.

Puri`s next acclaimed role came with the movie Disco Dancer in 1982, wherein he portrayed the role of Jimmy`s (Mithun Chakraborthy) manager. The actor portrayed unconventional roles with ease and in the same year, he appeared in the movie Arohan for which he won a National Film Award for Best Actor. In the following year, he followed this up with another compelling performance in arthouse movie Ardh Satya (1983) directed by Govind Nihalani. Ardh Satya went on to become a landmark film in the Indian film industry and is touted to be one of the best made cop films of Indian cinema. For his riveting performance as Sub inspector, Anant Velankar, Puri bagged his second consecutive Best Actor National Award. It turned out to be career defining role for the actor. After the success of Ardh Satya, he starred in the black comedy Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) directed by Kundan Shah. In the following years, Puri appeared in movies such as Giddh (1984), Mirch Masala (1985), and Aghaat (1985).

In 1990, Puri delivered another power packed performance in the movie Ghayal, which also stars Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Seshadri. The movie turned out to be one of biggest hits of the year and won seven Filmfare awards. Puri, who portrayed the character of ACP Joe D`Souza was also nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting actor. He also appeared in the romantic horror American film Wolf (1994) which also starred Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, and James Spader.

In the subsequent years, the actor gave memorable performances in several movies and earned Filmfare Award Best Supporting Actor nominations for Maachis (1996), Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997) and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998). Not just in Hindi movies but Om Puri also appeared in a few South Indian films and was equally successful there. In 1999, he portrayed the role of a strict police officer in the Kannada movie A.K. 47, which went on to become a huge commercial hit.

In the 90s, Puri also gained international recognition with his performances in movies such as My Son the City of Joy (1992), The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), Fanatic (1997), and East is East (1999). While the veteran actor has been appreciated for his unconventional roles, Puri also displayed equal finesse in essaying comedic characters in movies such as Chachi 420 (1997), Hera Pheri (2000), Chor Machaye Shor (2002) and Malamaal Weekly (2006). Om Puri also appeared in remake of the movie Don (1978). The remake, Don: The Chase Begins (2006) featured Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role while Om Puri portrayed the character of CBI Officer Vishal Malik. He reprised his character in the sequel Don 2: The King is Back (2011) as well.

In 2016, he gave voice to the character of Bagheera in the Hindi version of the animated movie The Jungle Book, which broke several box office records at the time of its release. Some of his other 2016 releases include Ghayaal Once Again (2016) and Mirzya. Om Puri`s 2017 releases include movies like The Ghazi Attack, Viceroy`s House, A Death in the Gunj, Tubelight and Mr. Kabaadi. His other projects include Load Wedding (2018), The Gandhi Murder (2019) and Gul Makai (2020).

Television Career
The actor also appeared in several television series like Kakkaji in Kakkaji Kaheen (1988), Mr. Yogi (1989) and in Govind Nihalani`s Tamas (1987). He also gave voice to the character of Bagheera in the popular animated TV.
Peers & More
Naseeruddin Shah
Actor
Anupam Kher
Actor
Paresh Rawal
Actor
Shabana Azmi
Actor
Family
Nandita Puri
Ex-Spouse
Seema Kapoor
Ex-Spouse
Ishaan Puri
Son
Ved Puri
Brother
Popular Movies
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Chann Pardesi
Omprakash Zindabad
Action Replayyyy
Gul Makai
Mumbhaii Gangster
Lashtam Pashtam
2006 Varanasi - The Untold
Mathangi
Mr. Kabaadi
Viceroy`s House

Did You Know? (12)

  • Om Puri was not the initial choice for the role of Sub inspector Anant Velankar in the movie Ardh Satya. The role was initially offered to Amitabh Bachchan who couldn’t take up the role as he had other commitments. Om Puri went on to deliver a performance of a lifetime and the role turned out to be career defining for him.
  • Om Puri’s wife, Nandita, released his biography in the year 2009 titled Unlikely Hero.
  • Om Puri was rewarded the honorary OBE (Officer of the Order of British Empire) for his contribution to the British film industry.
  • Om Puri has appeared in several shelved movies such as Jan Gun Man (1997), Jaidev (1995), Raktapaat (1995), and Kasam Tirange Ki (1999)
  • Actor Om Puri was made an honorary officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2004.
  • Born in 1950, actor Om Puri had no official birth record or certificate and his family was not sure about his birthdate. His mother had told him that he was born two days after the celebrations of the Dussehra festival. However, while admitting him to school, his uncle entered his birthdate as 9th March 1950. It was only after Puri moved to Mumbai that he changed his birthdate to 8th October - after he figured when the Dussehra celebrations took place in the year 1950.
  • When Puri was young, his father who was then working with the Indian Railways was jailed on allegations of theft of cement. Owing to this Puri started doing odd jobs such as working in a local tea shop and dhaba to support his family.
  • Actor Om Puri had no money to pay the tuition fees at FTII, Pune. He was also unhappy with the course. Later, when Puri became famous, the institute followed for the debt of INR 280. However, the actor refused to pay the debt he owed.
  • In his first few films, actor Om Puri was credited as Vilom Puri and later as Azdak Puri. However, Puri discarded both the names and decided to go ahead with the name his parents gave.
  • During his initial days in the film industry, actor Om Puri was afraid that he would be confused with Om Shivpuri. His friend, actor Naseeruddin Shah suggested that he should change his name to Vinamra Kumar or Antim Khanna. However, Om Puri rejected both the suggestions.
  • Tubelight marks the late actor Om Puri's last movie. Although he couldn't complete shooting for his character, the makers tweaked his role so as to retain his work in the movie.
  • The Kannada movie Tiger released in June 2017 marks the last Kannada film of the legendary actor Om Puri who passed away on 6th January 2017.
  • Personal Quotes (7)

  • "I don’t expect anything from anybody. When you grow old… Your days are gone; it is part of life."
  • "Actors are just soldiers who follow commands. "
  • "I prefer working in good cinema, wherever it is. I like subjects that have a universal appeal."
  • "As a young man, I was very introverted and quiet, but with a lot of intensity and feelings."
  • " I was very sensitive to the environment around, and this disparity in people, seeing beggars and laborers not paid well, used to disturb me. So these emotions in these roles came very naturally to me."
  • "When I was at school, I wanted to join the army. At college, I started acting in college plays, and it became a kind of addiction. I was very shy when I was at school, but the plays seemed to give voice to my feelings."
  • " I had hoped when my life was chronicled, it would be an inspirational story."
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