Om Puri a character actor of Bollywood passed away yesterday at the age of 66 after he suffered a massive heart attack. He died in Mumbai. Om Puri was a Punjabi who never lost his earthy touch with his home state. He was a superb actor who defied the conventional image of a chocolate hero with a scarred face. He acted in Mumbai films for over 35 years and did a variety of character roles. He burst on the scene with the Hindi film " Akrosh" where he played the role of a tribal whose wife gets raped and killed.

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Om did not look back after that and got a string of roles. His histrionic talent was recognized and Hollywood cast him in 7 films. His last Hollywood film was " The hundred foot journey" which came in 2014. He could act any role with aplomb, even comedy, as was seen in " Singh is King". His loss will leave a void as no character actor of his capability is presently in Bollywood.

Om in Hollywood

Much before Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone auditioned and got roles in Hollywood, Om Puri and earlier IS Johar made waves in Hollywood.

IS Johar won the BAFTA award for the best supporting actor for " Harry Black and the Tiger". Om Puri also made a name with a number of stellar performances. For his role in the film " My son the fanatic" screened in 1997, he won the Best Actor award at the Brussels International film festival. His contribution to art and the world of cinema is recognized worldwide and led to he being awarded the OBE( order of the British Empire). The Indian government also recognized his contribution and awarded him the Padma Shri title.

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One of the best roles, albeit a short one was in the film" Charlie Wilson's war" where he portrayed the role of General Zia-ul-Haq, the Pakistani dictator.

Controversy

Om Puri courted some controversy in his last days. he refused to unequivocally condemn the terror attacks in Kashmir and many videos circulated that he had converted to Islam. Probably they were not true. Despite all this controversy, he was a people's actor who proved to the world that one need not have a mirror face to succeed and talent has a place in the world of cinema.