Veteran actor Om Puri,
known for his unforgettable performances in cinema classics like Ardh Satya, Aakrosh and City of Joy, passed away at his residence on Friday morning after a massive heart attack. The 66-year-old actor is survived by estranged wife Nandita and son Ishsan.
Om Puri’s sudden demise has sent shockwaves in the industry and among his fans. An actor of immense talent, Puri has left behind an impressive body of work in Indian cinema, Hollywood, European movies as well as television.
Here’s revisiting some of those performances by the veteran actor which will remain etched in the minds of cinema lovers forever.
“Aakrosh” (1980): In this memorable debut by Govind Nihalani, Puri played a poor peasant, who is falsely accused of killing his own wife.
“Bhavni Bhavai” (1980): This Ketan Mehta film saw Puri play a poor narrator. The film also starred Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah in lead roles.
“Arohan” (1982): Directed by Shyam Benegal, the movie, set against the backdrop of Naxalbadi movement, saw Puri play the role of a poor farmer who ends up in jail while fighting against the system. He received the National Award for Best Actor for this role.
“Ardh Satya” (1983): Again directed by Nihalani, the film saw Puri play the role of Anant Welankar, an idealistic sub-inspector with Bombay Police, who struggles to come to terms with the corruption around him.
“Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” (1983): To break his image as a serious actor, Puri took a shot at comedy with Kundan Shah’s cult classic. He played the role of a corrupt property builder called Ahuja.
“Mirch Masala” (1987): This Ketan Mehta film saw a gathering of almost all the leading names in parallel cinema – be it Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Dina Pathak, Om Puri or Ratna Pathak Shah.
“City of Joy” (1992): It is an English film directed by Roland Joffe, based on the novel of the same name. Puri played a rural farmer called Hazari Pal, who moves to the fictitious Anand Nagar slum of Kolkata with his family in search of a better livelihood.
“Dirty Dancing” star Patrick Swayze and Shabana Azmi were his co-stars in the movie. “In Custody” (1993): His role in this movie, opposite Shashi Kapoor, is one of his most under-rated performances. Based on the novel written by Anita Desai, Puri played the role of professor at a local college.
“East is East” (1999): He played patriarch Zaheed Khan, a first generation Pakistani, living in London and married to a British woman.
“The Hundred-Foot Journey” (2014): Puri starred as the head of Kadam family, who have relocated to France from India.