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Om Puri (18 October 1950 – 6 January 2017)

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The third actor to be taken from us so far in 2017 (after Argentinian actor Luis Mazzeo and Syrian actor, writer and director Rafiq Subaie), Om Puri will be best known to Western audiences as the immigrant fish and chip shop owner living in Bradford and trying to keep his Anglicized children from continually ignoring their heritage in East Is East (1999) and its predictably titled sequel West Is West (2010). He had a blunt physicality in later years that belied a sharp intelligence as an actor, and if Western movie makers didn’t quite know what to do with him other than cast him as an overbearing patriarch, then it was their loss, as he made many, many movies in India that showcased his varied talents as an actor. That many of them remain unseen outside of India is a shame, as Puri was a phenomenal talent who added lustre to each project he was involved with. For once, putting together a list of just ten movies to represent an actor’s career is really difficult, as with around three hundred roles and movies to choose from, and with Puri often in a category all his own in terms of performances, it’s entirely likely that some performances will be left out that perhaps shouldn’t be. That’s a testament to the man and his career, and his indelible contribution to Asian cinema.

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1 – Aakrosh (1980)

2 – Bhavni Bhavai (1980)

3 – Ardh Satya (1983)

4 – Mirch Masala (1987)

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5 – City of Joy (1992)

6 – Maachis (1996)

7 – East Is East (1999)

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8 – AK 47 (1999)

9 – Dhoop (2003)

10 – Road to Sangam (2010)

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