ENTERTAINMENT

Om Puri Dead: 'East Is East' Actor Dies, Aged 66

Several of his peers and co-stars have paid their respects.

06/01/2017 11:43 GMT | Updated 06/01/2017 13:48 GMT

Long-serving Bollywood actor Om Puri has died at the age of 66, his family has confirmed.

Throughout his career, Puri starred in both art films and mainstream efforts, in his native India and Hollywood, as well as here in the UK.

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Om Puri

Born in India in 1950, Puri made his film debut in 1972, playing Ghashiram in the film ‘Ghashiram Kotwal’.

He will perhaps be best remembered for his portrayal of the father, Zaheed “George” Khan, in the 1999 British comedy-drama ‘East Is East’, which tells the story of a British-Pakistani family in Birmingham, dealing with a clash of cultures.

He reprised the role a decade later for the sequel, ‘West Is West’, along with most of the original cast.

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Puri in 'East Is East'

More recently, he starred opposite Dame Helen Mirren in the 2014 comedy, ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’.

Puri had several films in the pipeline prior to his death, including opposite Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson in the historical drama ‘Viceroy’s House’, which is slated for release in March 2017. Later this year, he’ll also star as the lead in ‘Lashtam Pashtam’.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has led the tributes to Puri, with many of his former colleagues and peers also expressing their grief on social media:

In 2004, Puri was honoured with an honorary OBE for his contribution to British cinema, having also been awarded the Padma Shri - one of India’s highest civilian honours - in the field of the arts, 14 years earlier.

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