Om Puri dies at 66

Tributes to veteran Indian actor.

by Amber Wilkinson

Om Puri in West Is West, who has died at age 66
Om Puri in West Is West, who has died at age 66 Photo: BBC Films
East Is East star Om Puri has died at age 66.

The veteran Indian star reportedly died of a heart attack in Mumbai early today.

Puri, who became known as a character actor in the 1980s, finding fame both in his homeland, with films such as Ardh Satya and Sadgati, and in Britain, where he starred in films including culture clash comedy East Is East and its sequel West Is West. He also found fame in Hollywood, with films including The Hundred-Foot Journey and The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

He was awarded an OBE for his contribution to British film in 2004 and the Padma Shri for his services to the film industry in India in 1990.

On December 21, Puri wrote on Twitter: "I have no regrets at all. I have done quite well for myself. I didn't have a conventional face, but I have done well, and I am proud of it."

This morning tributes poured in for the star on social media.

The official Twitter feed of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi posted: “The Prime Minister condoles the passing away of actor #OmPuri and recalls his long career in theatre and films.”

Actor Anil Kapoor wrote: "An actor, a teacher, a friend & a great soul #OmPuri ji. Filled with passion for his craft and innocence in his heart. We will miss him."

Director and actor Kamal Haasan added: "So long, Omji. Prided myself on being his friend peer & admirer. Who dare say my Om Puri is no more? He lives through his work."

Fellow veteran Anupan Kher wrote: "I have known #OmPuri for the last 43 years. For me he’ll always be a great actor, a kind and generous man. And that is how world should remember him.

"#OmPuri lent dignity to the medium he worked for. Whether it was stage, TV or cinema. He elevated status of the projects was associated with."

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