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Amrish Puri passes away
12th Jan 2005 13.56 IST
By ApunKaChoice Bureau
One of the greatest villains of the Hindi film industry, Amrish Puri today died at the Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai due to prolonged illness, hospital sources said. He was 72.
Puri suffered a blood clot in the brain and slipped into coma, the family sources said, adding he was also being treated for malaria.
The actor had undergone a surgery last week. He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter. Puri, known for his versatility and great acting prowess, performed remarkably in Mr. India as `Mogambo'.
Puri, who started his film career at a relatively late age, would always be remembered for his roles in `Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge', `Vidhata', `Hero', `Reshma aur Shera'.
The funeral is likely to take place tomorrow, the family sources said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled Puri’s death saying, "Indian cinema and theatre will, without doubt, miss his commanding and endearing presence".
"Puri made his mark on stage and then went on to become one of the most recognisable faces in Hindi cinema as well as among international audiences," he said in his condolence message.
"His portrayal of such diverse roles as in Shyam Benegal's 'Nishant’ and ‘Bhumika', the villain Mogambo in 'Mr. India' and the grandfatherly widower in Chachi 420 endeared him to a wide range of cinema viewers across generations," Manmohan Singh said.
Puri made his Bollywood debut at the age of 40 in 1971 with ‘Reshma Aur Shera’.
Hulchul was his last release and he was the narrator in the recently released Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo . He was also playing a role in the forthcoming film Kisna .
Puri, the younger brother of character actor Madan Puri, initially screen tested for a hero's role in 1954. When the producer rejected him, saying that he had a 'crude and harsh face' Puri turned his attention to the theatre and also lent his voice to several advertisement jingles.
When he was almost 40, director Sukhdev signed him for 'Reshma Aur Shera'. But when producer Sunil Dutt took over as the director of the film, like the camels, Puri blended into the background. It was another long wait before Puri, now a famous stage actor, was cast by art filmmaker Shyam Benegal in films like 'Nishaant', 'Manthan and 'Bhumika'.
However, it was only after the commercial success of his role of Duryodhana in 'Hum Paanch', a modern-day version of the Ramayana, that he was recognised as an actor. And with films like `Vidhaata` and `Hero` becoming hits, Puri became a star villain. Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg was so impressed with him that he cast him as the main villain in his film 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' in 1984.
His venomous performance in 'Nagina' was a landmark but his career-defining role came with 'Mr. India' in 1987, as Mogambo. And the catchline, "Mogambo khush hua" became one of the most famous lines in the history of Hindi cinema.
With occasional positive roles in films like 'Phool Aur Kaante' in 1991 and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge in 1995, he also did films like 'Ram Lakhan', 'Saudagar', 'Karan Arjun', Pardes and Koyla , which reaffirmed his versatility.
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