amrish puri
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amrish puri
Passing :
Jan 12, 2005

Amrish Puri was born in Naushera in Punjab in 1932. He graduated from BM College in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, and in the ‘50s, he moved to Mumbai.

 His elder brother – Madan Puri -- had already made a name for himself as a villain on the Hindi screen. But, younger brother Amrish failed a screen test to play the hero in 1954. He worked for a while as an employee of the Ministry of Labour. In time, however, the theatre beckoned and Amrish Puri began to take up roles in playwright Satyadev Dubey’s plays. He soon became a familiar face at Mumbai’s Prithvi Theatre.

 What attracted the audience immediately to Amrish Puri was his deep, resonant, baritone voice. He realized the importance of that voice, when he began getting offers for ad jingles in the early days of radio commercials.

In 1971, he was cast as a bad guy in the film Reshma aur Shera. He was nearly 40 years old when he made his debut on the screen. But, though he was a latecomer, Lady Luck had a great career plan for him.

 After getting his foot into the Bombay Talkies, he was offered a handful of significant roles (mostly as bad guys) by Shyam Benegal in his art films. This was the ‘70s -- the years of the powerful parallel cinema movement. Amrish Puri played roles in “parallel” films like Nishant, Manthan, Bhumika, Kalyug andMandi, thus sharing screen time with “art” legends like Smita Patil, Nareeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi.

 His finest (and most memorable) art film role was Govind Nihalani’s Ardh Satya in which he played a counter-point role opposite Om Puri’s rebellious cop.  In 1987, however, one film changed his entire career graph.

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Created On: 18 Oct, 2011
By : amrit amrit
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