Updated: September 11, 2017 4:19:02 pm
Film and theatre actor Tom Alter has been diagnosed with cancer. The Padma Shri awardee, popularly known for his stint on TV show Zabaan Sambhalke, is suffering from fourth stage skin cancer. The news came less than a week after the 67-year-old multi-faceted performer was discharged from a city hospital, where he was admitted for “body pain”.
His son Jamie Alter told IANS over phone, “It is what is called a squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). It is a relapse of the same thing which had happened last year and unfortunately, for various reasons, it was not detected at that time and has come back.” Last year, Tom Alter had to get his thumb amputated due to the condition. Now, he is in stage four, Jamie said. Tom Alter has been admitted for a week in Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital.
“He is fighting it well. He is showing the will to battle it out,” Jamie said, adding, “He is under the best care possible. Various doctors across the country are in consultation. As a family, we are very happy with the treatment he is getting. His bodily functions are absolutely fine. The doctors are very happy with that. The past one week has gone in getting him in a state of physical strength, whereby the doctor is able to start the next round of medication.”
The director of Alter’s upcoming film Redrum A Love Story, Dhruv Sachdeva said, “We haven’t been told to what his health concern is but we know there are health concerns. We spoke to the family last week but they were, perhaps, hesitant to share the detail.” When we inform him that Alter has been diagnosed with cancer, the director paused for a few seconds and replied, “I am speechless. I will get in touch with the family again.”
The Indian actor of American descent, Tom Alter made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas and later went on to work in films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Kranti, Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Veer Zara. But it was his sitcom Zabaan Sambhalke (1993-1997) that made him a household name. The series, also starring Pankaj Kapoor, was the adaptation of British sitcom, Mind Your Language (1977).
Tom Alter was also a part of other hit TV shows like Shaktiman and Captain Vyom, both extremely popular with kids. Alter’s last Bollywood film was director Imran Khan’s Sargoshiyan, which released earlier this year. Besides films and television, Alter’s presence in theatre has been noteworthy. His play, In Ghalib In Delhi, had many shows across the country. He played the lead role of celebrated poet Mirza Ghalib.
(With inputs from IANS)
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