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Veteran film and TV actor Om Puri passes away

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NEW DELHI: Veteran actor Om Puri, who gave countless memorable performances in movies of diverse genres and also on television shows, died at his residence in Mumbai this morning after a massive heart attack. He was 66.

‘Puri passed away this morning due to a heart attack at his residence in suburban Andheri. It's shocking,’ a family source was quoted by PTI as saying.

From Bollywood to Hollywood, from independent to art films to television, the noted actor, known for his versatility, gave several acclaimed performances. Puri featured in several Indian, Pakistani, British and Hollywood mainstream commercial films. However, as many of his fans said Puri would be remembered more for his stellar roles in TV serial ‘Tamas’ and film ‘Ardh Satya’. He was awarded the Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian award, in 1990.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled Puri's demise and recalled his long career in theatre and films. Minister for information and broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu too condoled Puri’s death and remembered his contribution to the Indian film and TV industry. Bollywood celebrities, including Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Anupam Kher, Javed Akhtar and Mahesh Bhatt, expressed grief over Puri's demise, calling it a huge loss to Indian cinema.

Born in Ambala, Haryana, in a Punjabi family, Puri graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He was also an alumnus of the 1973 class of National School of Drama, where Naseeruddin Shah was a batch mate. He made his film debut in the 1976 Marathi film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’.

Some of his notable films include ‘Bhavni Bhavai’, ‘Sadgati, ‘Ardh Satya’, ‘Mirch Masala’, ‘Dharavi’, ‘Aakrosh’, ‘Maachis’, ‘Gupt’, ‘Dhoop’ and ‘Yuva’. He earned international fame in many British films, such as ‘My Son the Fanatic’, ‘East Is East’ and ‘The Parole Officer’. He also appeared in Hollywood films like ‘City of Joy’, ‘Wolf’, ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’, among others.

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