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Veteran Indian actor Om Puri known for his roles in East Is East and Gandhi, dies aged 66

International Business Times logo International Business Times 1/6/2017 Lara Rebello
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Veteran Indian actor Om Puri died on Friday (6 January) in Mumbai, at the age of 66.

According to preliminary reports, he suffered from a severe heart attack after returning home from a shoot on Thursday evening.

His driver raised the alarm when there was no response after he rang the door bell the next morning. BBC reported a source as claiming that he was "found dead" in his bed.

Puri was considered one of the Indian film industry's more versatile actors and he performed a variety of roles — from drama to comedy — over a career spanning 40 years.Born in the central Indian state of Haryana in 1950, Puri made his film debut with the 1976 Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal. He went on to work in movies in a number of Indian languages.

Helen Mirren, Om Puri © . REUTERS/Paul Hackett Helen Mirren, Om Puri

In 1982 and 1984 he won the National Film Award for best actor for his roles in the Hindi language films Arohan and Ardh Satya respectively. By the 1990s Puri had already earned a name for himself in the film industry as a stalwart actor and was awarded the Padmashri, India's fourth highest civilian honour in 1990.

His acting career transcended the Indian film industry, and Puri is known for his roles in a number of British and Hollywood films and TV shows.

He played a supporting character in the 1982 Oscar award winning film Gandhi, 1991's Sam And Me, City Of Joy (1992), The Ghost And The Darkness (1996), My Son The Fanatic (1997), for which he won the award for best actor at the Brussels International Film Festival.

Puri was known for his role as George Khan in 1999's East Is East and its 2010 sequel West Is West. He went on to act in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and the Helen Mirren starrer The Hundred Foot Journey.

Ian Hughes, Om Puri © SEBASTIAN D'SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images Ian Hughes, Om Puri

In 2004, the actor was made an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to The British Film Industry.

Also see: Rare and unseen images of veteran actor Om Puri

Om Puri passes away at 66: A tribute to the veteran actor
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