Veteran Hindi actor Om Puri on Friday passed away after a severe heart attack. But that heart-wrenching news echoed in all the film industries he graced with his acting prowess. The 66-year-old, who had predominantly acted in the Hindi film industry, had also made his presence felt in not just Bollywood but in film industries from Punjab to the three or the four southern ‘woods’. Bagging Padma Shri, National Awards and multiple international awards, the FTII and NSD alumnus even acted in Hollywood films. Puri has a characteristic distinction for his performance to achieve perfection and his hallmark deep guttural voice accentuating his mien.
WATCH VIDEO | Veteran Actor Om Puri Passes Away At 66, His Cinematic Journey
But Puri was not just limited to Bhavni Bhavai, Sadgati, Ardh Satya, Mirch Masala and Dharavi of the Bollywood, he acted in close to 15 regional language movies other in Hindi while three of his projects are in the filming stage. The actor began his film career with Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal in 1972, just after he passed out from FTII in Pune.
With a debut in Kannada industry in 1977, the actor’s first Kannada film was Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane that was directed by Girish Karnard. In fact, Om Puri recalled in an interview that Karnard was the one who initiated him into films. Puri had said that the director heard about the plight of the actor and offered a minor role in a children’s film B V Karanth was making – Chor Chor Chup Ja. The actor’s next Kannada film AK47, in 1999, turned out be a big commercial hit of that times that had run for 175 days.
In the Shiva Rajkumar starrer, Puri played a crucial role as a cop. After another film Dhruva, Puri was in the middle of filming for two other Kannada films. Puri, a Haryanvi by birth, was also close to Punjab film industry. He acted in as many as five Punjabi films, his first and second films being Chann Pardesi and Long Da Lishkara. Both starred popular actor Raj Babbar. In 2013 alone, he acted in two Punjabi films.
WATCH VIDEO | Bollywood Mourns Death Of Veteran Actor Om Puri
Though he never ventured into the Madras film industry, he worked in a couple films in Mollywood and Tollywood. Puri worked with popular Malayalam actors Revathi and Jayaram in Puravrutham and Aadupuliyattam. He just acted in a single title, Ankuram, in Telugu.
For millions, Om Puri was not just an actor but the definition of cinematic diversity who had left his footprints in all the regional film industries.