NOTED film maker and director, Shyam Benegal said his departed friend and actor Om Puri was an extraordinary actor and person while paying tributes to the legend at Mumbai Press Club Film Study Group gathering here on January 7, 2017.
Benegal, who directed Puri in several movies and tele-serials such as ‘Discovery of India’, said Puri was one-of-a-kind who would go beyond his brief for delivering best performances.
“The last conversation I had with my friend was a night before he passed away,” he said. Benegal also accepted the Mumbai Press Club’s request for curating a film festival in Puri’s honour. He said he would make best of Puri’s movies available to the club for screening.
Mumbai Press Club Secretary Dharmendra Jore and convener of Mumbai Press Club Film Study Group, Rafique Baghdadi, also spoke on the occasion.
66-years-old Om Puri passed away on January 6, 2016 morning, reportedly due to a heart attack. Preliminary postmortem report of Om Puri reportedly suggests the cause of death as ‘unknown’, which is to say that Om Puri did not die of natural causes. The Mumbai Police are, at present, interrogating Om Puri’s driver and domestic help, according to latest developments. The Police have registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) in to the matter.
Om Prakesh Puri (18 October 1950 – 6 January 2017) was an Indian actor who appeared in mainstream commercial Indian, British, American and Pakistani films, as well as independent films and art films. He is best-known for his author-backed roles in films like Aakrosh (1980), Arohan (1982) and television films like Sadgati (1981) and Tamas (1987) and also light-hearted roles in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), Chachi 420 (1997) and Actor In Law (2017). He had various collaborations with director Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani.
Puri was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 1990; and in 2004, was made an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire.