The veteran and the most versatile actor Om Puri left the world on Friday due to cardiac arrest. The 66 years old actor was found dead in his Mumbai house. The first crossover actor left the cinema world in grief, but as the actor Anupam Kher tweeted, he will always be alive with his acting prowess and impeccable work in Bollywood as well as Hollywood. The actor won many accolades including Padma Shri, 2 National Film Award for Best Actor, Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor, among others.
Let’s remember the all time best actor of Bollywood with some of his best movies.
Released in 1981, the movie got him his first Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. The movie was based on a true story and the actor left the audience in tears with his character of quiet Lahanya Bhiku.
- Mirch Masala
Though the actor didn’t have lead role in the movie, he still stole the stage with his old Muslim gatekeeper and factory guard’s role. Audience loved Abu Mian, who lost his life while protecting women in a masala factory.
- Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
He was termed as a serious actor and the actor perfectly showed his comic side with the satire entertainment movie Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. Also featuring his classmate from NSD and FTII, Naseeruddin Shah, addressed a range of social issues such as corruption, bureaucracy and media in a comic sense. Om Puri played a builder in the movie and won hearts of the fans.
Though the film didn’t well in India, it won hearts of international audience. Based on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and with Mumbai underworld as its backdrop, the movie had a strong concept.
- Ardh Satya
Om Puri is one of a few lucky actors who got an opportunity to work with Smita Patil. He shared screen with the legendary actress in many movies and Ardh Satya was also one of them. Though the actor was not the first choice for the role, he proved that it was right decision to cast him in a police officer’s role who struggles amidst rampant corruption in the police force.
The movie bagged him National Award for Best Actor and became a milestone in his acting career. He played an anguished farmer who struggles to retrieve his land. The movie showed a disturbing and heartbreaking condition of the farmers in the villages.
Based on a short story by Munshi Premchand, Sadgati was also one of the best movies done by Om Puri. Released in 1981, the movie showed the social evils of untouchablity and caste discrimination in which, the actor played a role of a dalit.
Directed by N chandra, Narasimha showed Om Puri in a central character of Baapji. He played a negative role in the movie who was the most influential man in the city. Also featuring Sunny Deol, Ravi Behl, Dimple Kapadia and Urmila Matondkar in the key roles, the movie was one of the milestones in Om Puri’s career.
- The Jungle Book
It not just his acting skills that helped him win hearts of millions of fans. He also became well-known name among kids by being the voice of Bagheera in ‘The Jungle Book.
- Malamaal Weekly
Those who thought the actor was limited to negative or serious roles got an opportunity to see his hilarious side in Malamaal Weekly. He perfectly portrayed the role of Ballu, a local dairy farmer, who like other people in the village wants to get the lottery ticket.
Being one of the first crossover actors, Om Puri also made India proud in West with his roles in many English movies and series. Some of the Hollywood movies, he worked in are The Hundred Foot Journey, White Teeth, The Payroll Officer and City of Joy.
Be it Indian Cinema or HOllywood, Om Puri conquered it all with his unmatched acting skills. The talented actor who went through a lot of struggle and humiliation initially due to his looks and voice established him as a proud actor whom we will always remember for his contribution in the entertainment industry.