Om Puri Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

Om Puri (1950-2017) was an Indian actor who predominantly worked in Bollywood films. He was known for Hindi films like ‘Aakrosh’ (1980), ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ (1983), ‘Chachi 420’ (1997), ‘Singh is Kinng’ (2008), and ‘Don’ 2′ (2011). Om Puri passed away at the age of 66 on 6 January 2017 after suffering from a heart attack. [1]BBC

Wiki/Biography

Om Puri was born as ‘Om Rajesh Puri’ [2]Twitter – Om Puri on Wednesday, 18 October 1950 (age 66 years; at the time of death) in Ambala, Haryana, India. His zodiac sign is Libra. At the age of 8, Om Puri was sent to Sanaur, Patiala, Punjab, to his maternal uncle’s home to pursue his primary and higher education. Om Puri completed his matric education (class 10) at Government High School in Sanaur. [3]Hindustan Times He joined the Khalsa College Patiala in 1965 and completed his graduation in arts in 1968. After he completed his graduation, Om Puri enrolled in the National School of Drama to study theatre acting. He completed his course in 1973. In 1974, he joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune for a two-year acting diploma course, which he completed in 1976. [4]The Times of India

Om Puri's childhood photo

Om Puri’s childhood photo

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 7″

Weight (approx.): 80 kg

Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper

Eye Colour: Dark Brown

Family

Parents & Siblings

Om Puri’s father, Tek Chand Puri, was an Indian Army veteran who also worked in the Indian Railways, and his mother, Tara Devi, was a homemaker. Om Puri had seven siblings out of which six of them passed away after suffering from smallpox. [5]The Times of India His brother, Ved Prakash Puri, was a coolie (railway porter). [6]The New York Times

Wife & Children

Om Puri got married to actress/writer Seema Kapoor in 1990. The couple divorced in 1991, after eight months of marriage. Om Puri ended the relationship because he was involved with the writer/journalist Nandita Puri (Om Puri’s second wife). [7]Pinkvilla

Om Puri with his first wife, Seema Kapoor

Om Puri with his first wife, Seema Kapoor

After his divorce from Seema Kapoor, Om Puri got married to Nandita Puri in 1993. The couple was later blessed with a son, Ishaan Om Puri. In 2016, Nandita Puri and Om Puri parted ways after Nandita filed a case against the actor for domestic violence. The couple was judicially separated (living separately without divorce). [8]Hindustan Times

(Left to right) Nandita Puri, Ishaan Om Puri, and Om Puri

(Left to right) Nandita Puri, Ishaan Om Puri, and Om Puri

Signature/Autograph

Om Puri's autograph

Om Puri’s autograph

Career

Regional Films

In 1976, Om Puri made his mainstream acting debut with the Marathi film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’ in which he played the role of Ghashiram Kotwal.

Om Puri (right) in a still from the Marathi film 'Ghashiram Kotwal' (1976)

Om Puri (right) in a still from the Marathi film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’ (1976)

In 1980, he starred in the Gujarati film ‘Bhavni Bhavai’ in which he played the role of Malo Bhagat. In 1981, Om Puri was cast in the Punjabi film ‘Chann Pardesi’ in which he played the role of Tulsi.

In 1983, he starred in the Punjabi film ‘Long Da Lishkara’ in which he played the role of Dittu. In 2013, Om Puri was cast in the Punjabi comedy film ‘Bhaji in Problem’ in which he played the role of Mr. Dhingra (protagonist’s uncle). In 2014, he was cast in the Punjabi comedy film ‘Aa Gaye Munde U.K. De’ in which he played the role of Dilip Singh Dhillon (Neeru Bajwa‘s father in the film).

Om Puri (left) in a still from the Punjabi film 'Aa Gaye Munde U.K. De' (2014)

Om Puri (left) in a still from the Punjabi film ‘Aa Gaye Munde U.K. De’ (2014)

In 1983, he was cast in the Bengali film ‘Chokh’ in which he played the role of Jadunath.

Om Puri in a still from the Bengali film 'Chokh' (1983)

Om Puri in a still from the Bengali film ‘Chokh’ (1983)

In 1988, Om Puri was cast in the Malayalam film ‘Puravrutham’ in which he played the role of Raman. In 2016, he starred in the Malayalam horror film ‘Aadupuliyattam’ in which he played the role of Yogendra Muni. In 1992, Om Puri was cast in the Telugu supernatural-horror film ‘Raatri’ in which he played the role of Sharji.

Om Puri in a still from the Telugu film 'Raatri' (1992)

Om Puri in a still from the Telugu film ‘Raatri’ (1992)

In 1993, he starred in the Telugu drama film ‘Ankuram’ in which he played the role of Satyam. In 1999, he was cast in the Kannada action film ‘A. K. 47’ in which he played the role of  Commissioner of Police Yashwant Sinha. In 2002, he starred in the Kannada action-drama film ‘Dhruva’ in which he played the role of Pratap Singh.

Bollywood

In 1975, Om Puri made his Bollywood debut with the children’s film ‘Chor Chor Chhup Ja.’

Om Puri in a still from his Bollywood debut film 'Chor Chor Chhup Ja' (1975)

Om Puri in a still from his Bollywood debut film ‘Chor Chor Chhup Ja’ (1975)

In 1977, he was cast in the film ‘Bhumika’ in which he played the role of the stage actor ‘Evil King.’ In 1978, he was cast in ‘Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan’ in which he played the role of Rajan. In 1980, he was cast in the Hindi drama film ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai’ in which he played the role of Madhu, a mechanic.

Om Puri (with a cup) in a still from the Hindi film 'Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai' (1980)

Om Puri (with a cup) in a still from the Hindi film ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai’ (1980)

In the same year, he starred in the legal drama film ‘Aakrosh’ in which he played the role of Lahanya Bhiku.

Aakrosh" Full Movie Hindi I Smita Patil I Om Puri I ...

In 1982, he was cast in the Hindi film ‘Arohan’ in which he played the lead role of Hari Mondal.

Om Puri in a still from the film 'Arohan' (1982)

Om Puri in a still from the film ‘Arohan’ (1982)

In 1983, Om Puri starred in the satirical black comedy film ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ in which he played the role of a corrupt contractor named Ahuja.

Om Puri (right) in a still from the film 'Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro' (1983)

Om Puri (right) in a still from the film ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ (1983)

In the same year, he was cast in the crime fiction ‘Ardh Satya’ in which he played the role of Sub-Inspector Anant Velankar.

Om Puri in a still from the film 'Ardh Satya' (1983)

Om Puri in a still from the film ‘Ardh Satya’ (1983)

In 1986, he was cast in the political thriller film ‘New Delhi Times’ in which he played the role of Ajay Singh. In 1993, Om Puri starred in ‘In Custody’ in which he played the role of Deven Sharma, a Hindi professor.

In 1996, he was cast in the romantic drama film ‘Prem Granth’ in which he played the role of Baliram. In the same year, he was cast in the period political thriller film ‘Maachis’ in which he played the role of Sanatan. In 1997, Om Puri starred in the comedy film ‘Chachi 420’ in which he played the role of Banwarilal Pandit.

Om Puri in a still from the film 'Chachi 420' (1997)

Om Puri in a still from the film ‘Chachi 420’ (1997)

In 2000, he was cast in the comedy film ‘Hera Pheri’ in which he played the role of Khadak Singh (Suniel Shetty‘s friend in the film).

Om Puri in a still from the film 'Hera Pheri' (2000)

Om Puri in a still from the film ‘Hera Pheri’ (2000)

In 2004, he was cast in the action-drama film ‘Aan: Men at Work’ in which he played the role of Police Commissioner Khurana. In the same year, Om Puri starred in the drama film ‘Dev’ in which he played the role of Special Commissioner Tejinder Khosla. He was then cast in the war-drama film ‘Lakshya’ (2004) in which he played the role of Subedar Maj. Pritam Singh.

Om Puri (right) in a still from the film 'Lakshya' (2004)

Om Puri (right) in a still from the film ‘Lakshya’ (2004)

In 2006, Om Puri starred in the drama film ‘Rang De Basanti’ in which he played the role of Amanullah Khan (Kunal Kapoor’s father in the film).

Om Puri in a still from the film 'Rang De Basanti' (2006)

Om Puri in a still from the film ‘Rang De Basanti’ (2006)

In 2006, he was cast in the comedy-drama film ‘Chup Chup Ke’ in which he played the role of Prabhat Singh Chauhan. In the same year, he starred in the action-thriller film ‘Don: The Chase Begins Again’ in which he played the role of an Interpol officer Vishal Malik.

Om Puri (centre) in a still from the film 'Don- The Chase Begins Again' (2006)

Om Puri (centre) in a still from the film ‘Don- The Chase Begins Again’ (2006)

In 2008, Om Puri was cast in the romantic-comedy film ‘Kismat Konnection’ in which he played the role of Sanjeev “Harry” Gill. He starred in the action-comedy film ‘Singh is Kinng’ (2008) in which he played the role of Rangeela Mann.

Om Puri (centre) in a still from the film 'Singh is Kinng' (2008)

Om Puri (centre) in a still from the film ‘Singh is Kinng’ (2008)

In 2012, Om Puri was cast in the action-drama film ‘Agneepath’ in which he played the role of Police Commissioner Gaitonde. In the same year, he was cast in the satirical comedy-drama film ‘Oh My God!’ in which he played the role of Advocate Hanif Qureshi. In 2015, he starred in the comedy-drama film ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ in which he played the role of a religious scholar Maulana Azad. In 2016, Om Puri was cast in the drama film ‘Gandhigiri’ in which he played the role of Rai Saheb; this was the last film of Om Puri before he passed away in 2017.

Om Puri in a still from his last Hindi film 'Gandhigiri' (2016)

Om Puri in a still from his last Hindi film ‘Gandhigiri’ (2016)

Television

In 1984, Om Puri was cast in the British TV serial ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ in which he played the role of Mr. de Souza. The serial was aired on ITV. Om Puri was part of the 1988 historical-drama TV series ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ on Doordarshan.

Om Puri in a still from the TV series 'Bharat Ek Khoj' (1988)

Om Puri in a still from the TV series ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ (1988)

He was also cast in the comedy TV series ‘Mr. Yogi’ (1988) in which he played the role of Sutradhar. Om Puri starred in Doordarshan’s political satire TV series ‘Kakaji Kahin’ in which he played the role of Kakaji. In the late 1990s, Om Puri starred in the DD TV series ‘Sea Hawks’ in which he played the role of Uncle Sam. In 2012, Om Puri returned to the TV industry with the second season of the Hindi crime show ‘Savdhaan India’ on Life OK (now known as Star Bharat). [9]Hindustan Times In 2002, he was cast in the British drama serial ‘White Teeth’ in which he played the role of Samad Miah Iqbal; the series was aired on Channel 4. In 2003, Om Puri was cast in the British TV serial ‘The Canterbury Tales’ in which he played the role of Jetender. The serial was originally aired on BBC One; however, the repeats of the episodes were aired on ITV3. In 2004, Om Puri was cast in a few episodes of the thriller-horror TV series ‘Aahat’ on the Sony channel.

Hollywood

In 1982, Om Puri made his Hollywood debut with the biographical film ‘Gandhi,’ based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, in which he played the role of Nahari (a rioter).

Om Puri in a still from his Hollywood debut film, 'Gandhi' (1982)

Om Puri in a still from his Hollywood debut film, ‘Gandhi’ (1982)

In 1991, he was cast in the Canadian drama film ‘Sam & Me’ in which he played the role of Chetan Parikh. In 1992, Om Puri starred in the drama film ‘City of Joy’ in which he played the role of Hazari Pal.

In 1994, he was cast in the American biographical drama film ‘The Burning Season’ in which he played the role of Rajiv Sharma. In the same year, Om Puri was cast in the American romantic-horror film ‘Wolf’ in which he played the role of Dr Vijav Alezais.

In 1995, he starred in the American historical-adventure film ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’ in which he played the role of Abdullah.

Om Puri in a still from the film 'The Ghost and the Darkness' (1995)

Om Puri in a still from the film ‘The Ghost and the Darkness’ (1995)

In 1997, he was cast in the British comedy film ‘My Son the Fanatic’ in which he played the role of a Pakistani taxi driver, ‘Parvez.’ In 1999, Om Puri was cast in the British comedy-drama film ‘East is East’ in which he played the role of Zahir “George” Khan.

Om Puri (right) in a still from the British film 'East is East' (1999)

Om Puri (right) in a still from the British film ‘East is East’ (1999)

In 2003, Om Puri starred in the British film ‘Code 46’ in which he played the role of Bahkland. In 2013, Om Puri was cast in the American comedy-drama film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ in which he played the role of Abbu “Papa” Kadam.

Om Puri in a still from the American film 'The Hundred-Foot Journey' (2003)

Om Puri in a still from the American film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ (2003)

Voice Over Artist

In 2009, Om Puri worked as the voice artist for the Hindi TV series ‘Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo,’ which premiered on Zee TV. Om Puri lent his voice as a narrator to many Hindi films such as ‘Maa Tujhhe Salaam’ (2002), ‘Krishna Aur Kans’ (2012), ‘Welcome Back’ (2015), and ‘Parakash Electronic’ (2017). Not only Hindi films, but Om Puri also narrated the Punjabi historical drama film ‘Chaar Sahibzaade’ (2014). [10]The Indian Express

Films Released After Death

Om Puri’s Hollywood historical drama film ‘Viceroy’s House’ was released after the actor’s death in 2017 in which he played the role of Ali Rahim Noor. In 2017, Om Puri was cast in the Hindi-Indian war film ‘The Ghazi Attack’ in which he played the role of an Indian navy personnel, Admiral V.S. Nanda.

Om Puri during the shoot of Hindi film 'The Ghazi Attack' (2017)

Om Puri during the shoot of Hindi film ‘The Ghazi Attack’ (2017)

In the same year, he starred in the Hindi war drama film ‘Tubelight’ in which he played the role of Banne Chacha. In 2017, Om Puri was cast in the Hindi comedy film ‘Mr. Kabaadi’ in which he played the role of Channulal Surmewala. In 2018, Om Puri starred in the Pakistani romantic-comedy film ‘Load Wedding’ in which he played the role of Raja’s late father; this was mainly a tribute role presented by the filmmakers. In 2019, he was cast in the Hindi historical political thriller film ‘The Gandhi Murder’ in which he played the role of T.G., Director General of Police.

Om Puri in a still from the Hindi film 'The Gandhi Murder' (2019)

Om Puri in a still from the Hindi film ‘The Gandhi Murder’ (2019)

In 2020, Om Puri was cast in the Hindi biographical film ‘Gul Makai’ in which he played the role of General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. In 2023, Om Puri was cast in the Hindi film ‘Khela Hobe’ in which he played the role of Fareek Bhai.

Om Puri in a still from the Hindi film 'Khela Hobe' (2023)

Om Puri in a still from the Hindi film ‘Khela Hobe’ (2023)

Controversies

Accused of Having Sexual Relationship with a Maid

In 2009, Om Puri’s first wife, Nandita Puri, wrote a biography of the actor titled ‘Unlikely Hero: The Story of Om Puri.’ In the book, Nandita stated that at the age of 14, Om Puri was sexually involved with a maid working at his house who was 55 years old. [11]India Today To this, the actor was quoted saying,

Is this a fault of a 14 year old or a 55 year old?” [12]India TV – YouTube

Accused of Having Sexual Relationship with Father’s Care-taker

In 2009, in Om Puri’s biography titled ‘Unlikely Hero: The Story of Om Puri,’ written by his ex-wife Nandita Puri, it was stated that when the actor was 37 years old, he had a physical relationship with the care-taker of his house who used to look after his 80-year-old father. She was five years younger than him back then. When addressed, Om Puri was quoted saying in an interview,

I was not married back then and she was divorced too. Being a 37 year old man, I have my own needs.” [13]India TV – YouTube

Derogatory Comments on Politicians

In 2011, Om Puri was part of the anti-corruption campaign ‘Jan Lokpal’ at Ramlila Maidan, Delhi, where Indian social activist Anna Hazare was on a hunger strike. In a speech at the protest site, Om Puri made defaming comments about the politicians by calling them “anpadh” (uneducated). [14]The Times of India The MPs of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha issued notices of privilege motion against Om Puri for his remarks. Om Puri later apologised for his statements, and, in an interview, he was quoted saying,

It happened due to the heat of the moment.” [15]The Economic Times

 

Views on Naxals

In 2012, when Om Puri was shooting for Prakash Jha’s film ‘Chakravyuh’ in Pachmarhi, he attracted controversy after he supported the cause of Naxals; he also justified the kidnapping of the Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon by the Maoist rebels. [16]News18 India Om Puri said,

They (Naxals) are not terrorists because they don’t resort to irresponsible acts of terror by planting bombs on streets. Naxals are fighters who fight for their rights. They don’t harass the common man and the poor.”

Accusation of Physical Assault

In 2013, Om Puri’s second wife, Nandita Puri, filed a complaint against the actor for physical assault and domestic violence. Nandita Puri said in a statement that during an argument at their Versova flat, Om Puri hit her with a stick, threatened her, and ‘absconded’ her. However, Om Puri denied all the charges and was quoted saying in an interview,

I don’t even know what domestic violence means. I’ve never indulged in it.” [17]Hindustan Times

Om Puri Opposing Beef Ban

In 2015, the Maharashtra government banned the slaughtering and consumption of beef, and the decision was opposed by Om Puri. In an interview, while opposing the beef ban, the actor said,

Eating beef should be a personal choice and it should not be banned.” [18]The Times of India [19]The Indian Telegram

However, the actor’s statement spurred an online debate and many people commented against Om Puri’s statement.

Accused of Insulting Indian Soldiers

In 2016, a complaint was filed against Om Puri for making insensitive comments about the Indian soldiers. Following the Uri attack in 2016, the Indian government banned Pakistani actors from working in India. This decision was opposed by Om Puri, and during a debate on a news channel, Om Puri said, “Did we force them to join the army? Who told them to pick the weapons?.” [20]News18 India – YouTube The actor’s statement and support towards Pakistani artists was not taken well by the audience in India. However, Om Puri accepted his mistake of making humiliating comments towards the soldiers and the actor then apologised for his statement in the media.

 

Awards & Honours

  • In 1981, Om Puri won the award for Best Supporting Actor for the film ‘Aakrosh’ (1980) at the Filmfare Awards.
  • In 1982, he won the National Film Award for ‘Best Actor’ for the film ‘Arohan’ (1982).

  • In 1984, he won the National Film Award for ‘Best Actor’ for the film ‘Ardh Satya’ (1983).
  • In 1984, he won the Best Actor Award for his role in the film ‘Ardh Satya’ (1983) at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
  • In 1991, he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Award for the film ‘Ghayal’ (1990) at the Filmfare Awards.
  • In 1992, he was nominated for the Best Performance in a Negative Role Award for the film ‘Narsimha’ (1991) at the Filmfare Awards.
  • In 1998, Om Puri received the Grand Prix Special des Amériques at the Montreal World Film Festival for his contribution to the field of cinematographic art. [22]The Asian Awards
  • In 1999, he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Award for the films ‘Gupt: The Hidden Truth’ (1997) and ‘Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha’ (1998) at the Filmfare Awards.
  • In 2000, he was nominated for the Best Actor Award for the film ‘Ardh Satya’ (1983) at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
  • In 2004, Om Puri received the honour of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contribution towards the British Film Industry.

    Om Puri (right) receiving the honour of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2004

    Om Puri (right) receiving the honour of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2004

  • In 2009, Om Puri received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Filmfare Awards. [23]Filmfare – Facebook

    Om Puri (left) receiving the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award from Amitabh Bachchan (right)

    Om Puri (left) receiving the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award from Amitabh Bachchan (right)

Death

Om Puri passed away on 6 January 2017 after suffering from a heart attack. The actor was found dead at his residence in Lokhandwala, Mumbai, after many unanswered doorbells. His death was highlighted and speculated to be a murder instead of a natural death in the media. A postmortem was conducted, and the report stated a head injury. It was later declared that there were no signs of forced entry at his residence. [24]India Today Om Puri was also said to be in a state of depression due to his personal and professional life.

Favourites

  • Food: Brain curry
  • Cuisine(s): Thai and Mexican
  • Movie(s): Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Nayakan (1987), Pushpaka Vimana (1987), Dev (2004)
  • Author: Eknath Easwaran
  • Book: Lust for Life by Irving Wallace
  • Sport(s): Swimming and Cricket

Facts/Trivia

  • Om Puri left his first wife, Seema Kapoor, when she was pregnant with their child; she later had a miscarriage. [25]Pinkvilla
  • It was commonly believed that Om Puri and Amrish Puri were brothers because they shared the same surname. However; Om Puri clarified in an interview that they both share a relationship like that of brothers but were not blood-related. [26]Doordarshan Sahyadri – YouTube
  • At the age of five, Om Puri used to collect coal from the railway tracks in Ambala and bring it back home to be used for cooking.
  • His parents had no record or birth certificate of Om Puri, which is why they were not sure of his birth date. His mother, Tara Devi, told him that he was born 2 days after the Hindu festival ‘Dussehra.’ When he moved to Patiala and began his schooling, his maternal uncle chose his birth date as 9 March 1950 for the official documents; however, when Om Puri moved to Mumbai, he searched for the date 2 days after Dussehra was celebrated in 1950. Therefore, he decided to keep 18 October 1950 as his birth date. [27]Om Puri Foundation
  • Neelam, a junior of Om Puri at NSD, along with an industrialist friend, came to see the play ‘Hamlet’ in which Om was performing. They were so impressed by his performance that Neelam told her industrialist friend about Om’s financial crisis. Listening to this, the stranger decided to help Om with Rs. 300, which was later used by him to get admission into the FTII; however, Om Puri never received his diploma certificate from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) because he didn’t clear his fees as he had no money to do so. Om Puri couldn’t even afford a nice shirt to wear for his interview at the FTII. [28]Om Puri Foundation [29]The Times of India
  • During his graduation days in Patiala, Om Puri used to cycle more than 30 km a day to reach his college. [30]The Tribune
  • During the day time, Om Puri used to work as a lab assistant in his college’s chemistry lab, where he was paid Rs. 125 per month. After working the whole day, he used to take evening classes at the same college in Patiala.
  • During Om Puri’s graduation days, Harpal Singh Tiwana, an Indian playwright and theatre director, offered him to join the Punjab Kala Manch. Om Puri denied the invitation at first as he was already working as a lab assistant and attending classes in the evening. Harpal Tiwana made another offer to him to leave the job as a lab assistant in exchange for a job at the theatre group ‘Punjab Kala Manch’ at a salary of Rs. 150. Om Puri was convinced after seeing the raise in his salary, and he then decided to join the group. [31]The Tribune [32]Sansad TV – YouTube
  • People of Patiala used to address Om Puri as ‘Guddu.’ [33]The Tribune
  • Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah was best friends with Om Puri. The actors met in 1970 at the National School of Drama in Delhi. Naseeruddin Shah was Om Puri’s senior in the acting school. The actors also shared accommodation in Mumbai. [34]Gulf News

    Om Puri with Naseeruddin Shah (right) at an event in Mumbai

    Om Puri with Naseeruddin Shah (right) at an event in Mumbai

  • According to Om Puri, when he was a child, his father was arrested on the charges of stealing cement from the railway station in Ambala following which the family suffered financially, and Om Puri, at the age of 7, had to work in a tea stall in Ambala to support the family. [35]India Today
  • At the age of 2, Om Puri was contracted with smallpox. He used to be tied up to a cot in order to prevent him from scratching his face to calm his itching down. The viral infection caused permanent pockmarks on his face. [36]The Times of India
  • After graduating from Khalsa College Patiala, Om Puri got a job as a clerk at a government office in Punjab. Government job during that time was of huge importance and everybody strived to have one; however; Om Puri left the job to pursue his interest in acting, and he joined the NSD. [37]Firstpost
  • According to Om Puri, had he not been an actor, he would have joined the Indian Army or become a farmer or started his own ‘dhaba’ (restaurant).
  • Indian film director David Dhawan was Om Puri’s roommate at FTII; however, David wanted to change his room as he thought Om Puri was completely humourless.
  • Om Puri’s first encounter with non-vegetarian food was when he and one of his friends found an egg which Om brought to his house; however, his mother didn’t let him enter the house with an egg as they were strictly vegetarian. She gave him an empty oil can with some dry wood logs to light a fire outside, boil the egg, and finally eat it. [38]Cinemaazi
  • In 1977, while shooting for the film ‘Bhoomika,’ Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah went to a restaurant after their shoot to get dinner. One of their actor friends, Jaspal, attacked Naseeruddin Shah with a knife and stabbed him in the back. That’s when Om Puri jumped in and tackled Jaspal to prevent him from attacking Shah again. Naseeruddin Shah to this day credits Om Puri for saving his life. [40]The Indian Express
  • He purchased his first apartment in Mumbai in 1984 after the major success of the Hindi film ‘Ardh Satya’ (1983).
  • When Om Puri joined the National School of Drama (NSD), he was a complete vegetarian. Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri bonded over food, and it was Shah who converted Om into a non-vegetarian. Their favourite non-vegetarian dish was brain curry. [41]The Times of India
  • Om Puri improved his English language proficiency after his mentor Qaidi Saheb pushed him to read English newspapers loudly and listen to people conversing in the English language. This habit made Om Puri improve his English speaking skills, and it eventually helped him get roles in Hollywood films. [42]The Times of India
  • Om Puri was often spotted consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes on various occasions. However, in 2014, he quit smoking after he was diagnosed with a ‘white patch’ in his mouth, which was doubted to be cancerous; however, it was later tested to be benign (extra growth of skin) and was then removed through surgery. [43]NDTV
    Om Puri (right) and Naseeruddin Shah (left) drinking alcohol

    Om Puri (right) and Naseeruddin Shah (left) drinking alcohol

    Om Puri smoking a cigarette

    Om Puri smoking a cigarette

  • He received Rs. 3000 as a fee for his role in his debut film, ‘Chor Chor Chhup Ja,’ in 1975.
  • The actor felt hurt when Amitabh Bachchan was signed instead of him for the lead role in the film ‘Dev’ (2004). Om Puri was disappointed by the Indian director Govind Nihalani for not approaching him in his films with big budgets. [44]The Times of India
  • In 2011, Om purchased a farmhouse, overlooking the Western Ghats in Khandala, Maharashtra, to continue with his hobby of farming. He named the house ‘Ishaan Kutir’ (Ishaan’s hut). Om purchased a small piece of land in front of the house, which he named ‘Ishaan Vatika’ (Ishaan’s garden) to sow different vegetables and fruits like sweet corn, mangoes, bananas, brinjals, and papayas. [45]Outlook India
  • In 2014, during the shoot of the Hollywood film ‘The Hundred Foot Journey,’ Om Puri invited his co-star Helen Mirren along with the entire crew of the film to his rented apartment in Albi, France, for dinner. The dinner was cooked by Om himself. As soon as Helen arrived, Om Puri fell on his knees and confessed how a big fan he was of the actress. The actress was highly impressed and told Om how much she loved his work too. [46]The Indian Express

    Om Puri (right) with his co-actor Helen Mirren at the promotion of 'The Hundred Foot Journey' (2013)

    Om Puri (right) with his co-actor Helen Mirren at the promotion of ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ (2013)

  • In 2016, Om Puri was cast in the Pakistani socio-comedy film ‘Actor in Law’ in which he played the role of Rafaqat Mirza. Although the actor played the role of a Pakistani in many English and Hindi films, this was his first official Pakistani film. [47]The News International

    Om Puri in a still from the Pakistani film 'Actor in Law' (2016)

    Om Puri in a still from the Pakistani film ‘Actor in Law’ (2016)

  • In 2017, Om Puri’s second wife, Nandita Puri, launched the ‘Om Puri Foundation;’ the foundation was launched at the 70th Cannes Film Festival at the British Film Institute (BFI) pavilion in the UK. [48]Om Puri Foundation

    The team of 'Om Puri Foundation' with the Indian actor Raveena Tandon (in red) at the inaugural ceremony of the foundation

    The team of ‘Om Puri Foundation’ with the Indian actor Raveena Tandon (in red) at the inaugural ceremony of the foundation

  • A day before his death in 2017, he wanted to meet his son Ishaan but couldn’t. Om Puri was drunk and went to his ex-wife Nandita Puri’s house to see his son; however, he was informed that Nandita and Ishaan were out at a party. The actor waited for 45 minutes in his car and kept drinking all the while. [49]The Times of India
  • According to his ex-wife Nandita Puri, he was a great cook and often cooked Indian food like pulaos (vegetable rice), paranthas, and raitas (vegetable yoghurt). Om even once cooked for the British director Roland Joffé at his home in Bel Air, California. While kneading the dough for chapatis, Om realised that he didn’t have a rolling pin, and he converted an empty wine bottle into a rolling pin for the night. [50]Outlook India

    An old picture of Om Puri cooking at his home in Mumbai

    An old picture of Om Puri cooking at his home in Mumbai

  • He was very picky with his restaurant choices, and he often enjoyed going to local Mumbai eateries like Legacy of China for Chinese, Pop Tate’s for Continental, Satranj Napoli for Italian, and Urban Tadka for his Punjabi taste buds. [51]Outlook India
  • For his role in ‘City of Joy’ (1992), Om Puri took 3 months of rickshaw pulling lessons on the streets of Kolkata. He quit drinking alcohol and did a lot of exercise to lose weight to fit into the role. Om dressed himself up in a way that local rikshaw pullers were dressed, and he even practised barefoot to have the real experience and ended up having boils on his feet. [53]70mm with Rahoul – YouTube

    Om Puri in a still from the Canadian drama film 'City of Joy' (1992)

    Om Puri in a still from the Canadian drama film ‘City of Joy’ (1992)

  • The North Indian food restaurant ‘Urban Tadka’ in Mumbai named one of their dishes after Om Puri’s name. Initially, the dish was called ‘Mutton Saagwala;’ however, they later renamed it ‘Om Puri ka Mutton Saagwala’ as the actor often visited the restaurant for this dish. [54]The Times of India
  • The film ‘Ardh Satya’ (1983) was initially offered to Amitabh Bachchan; however, he denied the role. The director then approached Om Puri and offered him the role, which the actor accepted. This film gave Om Puri a lot of recognition all over the globe. [55]The Times of India
  • Om Puri was said to have predicted his own death in an interview. He was quoted saying,

    I will leave the world and film students will watch my films.” [56]The Indian Express

  • Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, and Smita Patil are known for starting the wave of art films in India.
  • Om Puri’s first wife, Seema Kapoor, is the sister of Indian actor Annu Kapoor.

    Annu Kapoor (in front) with Om Puri's ex-wife Seema Kapoor (second from left) at Om Puri's prayer meet

    Annu Kapoor (in front) with Om Puri’s ex-wife Seema Kapoor (second from left) at Om Puri’s prayer meet

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