The late Om Puri was a legendary figure in the world of Indian cinema, known for his versatility as an actor and his powerful on-screen presence. Over the course of his career, which spanned several decades, Puri appeared in over 300 films in various languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, and British films. His talent and passion for acting earned him numerous awards and accolades, including the National Film Award for Best Actor.

Early Life and Career Start

Born on October 18, 1950, in Ambala, Haryana, Om Puri initially had a tough start in life. Raised in a low-income family, he struggled to make ends meet and even worked as a lab assistant at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune to support himself while studying acting. Puri’s breakthrough came with his role in the 1976 Marathi film “Ghashiram Kotwal,” which marked the beginning of his illustrious acting career.

Versatility and Range

Om Puri was known for his incredible versatility as an actor. He effortlessly transitioned between intense drama, comedy, and character roles, leaving a lasting impact on audiences with each performance. Whether playing the role of a powerful villain, a compassionate father, or a comedic sidekick, Puri brought a depth and authenticity to his characters that set him apart from his peers.

Memorable Performances

Throughout his career, Om Puri delivered several unforgettable performances that showcased his exceptional talent and acting range. Some of his most memorable roles include:
Ardh Satya (1983): In this gritty drama, Puri played the role of a conflicted police officer struggling with corruption and moral dilemmas.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983): Puri showcased his impeccable comedic timing in this iconic satire on Indian politics and bureaucracy.
Maachis (1996): His portrayal of a disillusioned former militant in this critically acclaimed film earned him widespread praise.
East is East (1999): Puri’s role as George Khan, a strict Pakistani father living in England, was a standout performance that garnered international recognition.
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014): In one of his final international roles, Puri charmed audiences with his portrayal of an Indian immigrant in France with a passion for cooking.

Impact and Legacy

Om Puri’s contributions to Indian cinema go beyond his performances on screen. He was a vocal advocate for social causes and a champion of independent cinema. Puri’s commitment to his craft and his willingness to take on challenging roles inspired a generation of actors and filmmakers. His sudden passing in 2017 left a void in the film industry that is still felt today.

Awards and Recognition

Over the course of his career, Om Puri received numerous awards and honors for his exceptional acting skills. Some of the notable accolades include:
National Film Award: Best Actor for “Arohan” (1983) and “Ardh Satya” (1984).
Filmfare Awards: Best Supporting Actor for “Ardh Satya” (1984) and Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
Padma Shri: India’s fourth-highest civilian award for his contributions to the field of arts.

Personal Life and Behind the Scenes

While Om Puri was a revered figure on screen, his personal life was marked by struggles and controversies. His battle with alcoholism and tumultuous relationships often made headlines, underscoring the challenges he faced off-screen. Despite his personal difficulties, Puri remained dedicated to his craft and continued to deliver stellar performances throughout his career.


  1. What were some of Om Puri’s most iconic films?
  2. Some of Om Puri’s most iconic films include “Ardh Satya,” “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro,” “Maachis,” and “East is East.”

  3. Did Om Puri receive any international recognition for his work?

  4. Yes, Om Puri received acclaim for his role in the international film “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” where he played an Indian immigrant in France.

  5. What kind of roles was Om Puri known for?

  6. Om Puri was known for his versatility, playing a wide range of characters from intense dramas to comedic roles.

  7. What awards did Om Puri win during his career?

  8. Om Puri won multiple awards, including two National Film Awards for Best Actor and several Filmfare Awards.

  9. Was Om Puri involved in any social causes or activism?

  10. Yes, Om Puri was known for his advocacy for social causes and his support of independent cinema.

Om Puri’s legacy as a powerhouse of Indian cinema continues to resonate with audiences around the world. His groundbreaking performances, dedication to his craft, and contribution to the film industry make him an irreplaceable figure whose influence will be felt for generations to come.


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