Om Prakash Puri was an Indian actor who appeared in mainstream commercial Hindi films, as well as independent and art films. He had various collaborations with director Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani. Puri also appeared in non-Indian productions in the United States, Britain, and Pakistan
Puri was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 1990. In 2004, he was made an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
On his birth anniversary, here’s looking at lesser-known facts about the legendary actor:
- With no birth certificate or record, his family was unsure about the date and year of birth, however, his mother had told him that he was born two days after Dussehra. When Om Puri began his schooling, his uncle chose March 9, 1950, as his official birthday. However, when Puri moved to Mumbai, he changed his date of birth to October 18, 1950, after looking at the 1950 calendar and when Dussehra was celebrated that year.
- His close friend was Naseeruddin Shah. Shah and Puri were classmates at the National School of Drama and had been friends for more than 40 years at the time of Puri’s death.
- Puri tried his hand at various regional films as well. He made his film debut with the Marathi film, Ghashiram Kotwal, which was based on a Marathi play of the same name. The film was directed by K Hariharan. Puri also acted in a Kannada movie, AK 47 and has also done a few Punjabi movies.
- He appeared in Hollywood films including City Of Joy opposite Patrick Swayze; Wolf alongside Jack Nicholson and The Ghost and the Darkness opposite Val Kilmer.
- Puri was honored by a renowned museum for his contribution to cinema through a special tribute that showcased clips from some of his finest films and highlighted the actor’s journey from a theatre student to one of the most prominent actors in the world.