ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Amrish PuriBollywood mourns the death of the Great Villain
13th Jan 2005  11.49 IST
By ApunKaChoice Bureau  

One of the greatest villains of Bollywood Amrish Puri passed away on Wednesday. And the entire Hindi film industry is mourning the death of the great on-screen villain who was a great human being off-screen

Mega superstar Amitabh Bachchan , Dharmendra , his son Sunny Deol , and character actors Anupam Kher , Om Puri , Nasseeruddin Shah on Wednesday congregated at Puri's residence to pay their last respects.

Bachchan worked with Puri in 'Reshma Aur Shera (1971), 'Dostana' (1980), 'Shakti' (1982), 'Andha Kanoon' (1983), 'Shahenshah' (1988), 'Ganga Jamuna Saraswati' (1988), 'Jadugar' (1989), 'Aaj Ka Arjun' (1990), 'Ajooba' (1991), 'Lal Badshah' (1999), Dev etc.

"I think as an actor we all know him, very few people, only in the film industry, know that he was one of finest human beings that we had. He was the only person in the film industry whose feet I touched," said Kher after paying his condolences to Puri's family.

Sridevi says, "I have worked in three films with Amrish ji and I learnt a very important lesson from him. We were doing a film, which had been in the making for long so everybody lost interest in it including me. Even though he was bored as well, he never showed it in front of anybody. And he told me that whatever and however the work is, one must give it one's best shot. He would come and discuss scenes with me. I remember him as a very dedicated and health-conscious person who always radiated positivity. He was a director's delight. And today we hardly have actors like him. We all will miss him."

Subhash Ghai , who directed Puri in 'Vidhata', 'Hero', 'Ram Lakhan', 'Saudagar', Pardes and his forthcoming film Kisna , says, "Amrish Puri is not a loss to the film industry only, but a huge loss to me emotionally as well. At this moment I can think of him as an excellent individual at all levels - a human being, an actor and a friend. In my latest film, he plays the villain with great gusto in spite of the fact that he was suffering from cancer and was terribly ill for the past one year. He was a courageous and a noble soul and will be remembered always."

Former Miss World Priyanka Chopra says, "I am yet to get over the shock. He was very fond of me and that's depressing me even more because I cannot be there as I am in Goa now. He was very close to my mother and me. I have worked in three films with him. He played my father in Mujshe Shaadi Karogi and my husband in Aitraaz . We used to laugh a lot about this variation in characters, but our equation never changed. He used to call me beta. He was a very health-conscious person and he never made any of us aware of his ill-health. And he even came for the party Subhash Ghai threw for 'Aitraaz' . Such was his dedication. It's a great loss to the industry and a personal loss to me."

Puri was not only famous in Bollywood, but also in the south. Says Kannada actor Audhitya, "He was a close family friend even before I was born. My first film was with him - he played the villain in Love. Amrish Puri taught me everything I know about acting - he taught me how to behave in front of the camera. He was my guru. He wasn't Amrish Puri, he was Mogambo. So much so that people will now say, Mogambo sabko khush karke chala gaya . I also remember Puri for his role in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I saw that film as a kid and I couldn't sleep after watching him.'

Telugu cine actor and Movie Artistes Association (MAA) President M Mohan Babu said actor Puri had agreed to act in a forthcoming film produced under his banner Lakshmi Prasanna films, featuring his sons Vishnu and Manoj in the lead roles.

Condoling the death of Puri, Babu said Mr. Puri had given a memorable performance in 'Major Chandrakant,' which was produced by him and in which Mr. N T Rama Rao had played the lead role.

''We had cordial relations ever since. He used to visit my house with his wife whenever he visited Hyderabad. I also visited him at his residence during all my trips to Mumbai. Villain on the screen, Amrish Puri was a great human being off the screen,'' Babu recollected.

He said during his recent meeting with the great actor, he had asked him to play the character of the father of one of his (Mohan Babu's) sons . However, Mr. Puri had declined saying that he would rather don the role of a villain than the father of the hero.

''Don't worry. I will fight with your sons. As a producer you sit and watch. Don't act in that film, Mr. Puri had jokingly said", recalled Babu. He said the actor, who left an indelible mark on the Telugu audience, would always be remembered.

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