Tributes after Bollywood star Om Puri dies aged 66

Stars have paid tribute to Bollywood actor Om Puri, star of cult British film East Is East, who has died aged 66.

Friday, 6th January 2017, 9:40 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:01 pm
Om Puri, star of cult British film East Is East, who has died aged 66. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

The prolific actor, whose career spanned four decades, suffered a heart attack after returning to his home in Mumbai from a film set on Thursday.

Leading the tributes were his former co-stars and others in the film industry.

Om Puri, star of cult British film East Is East, who has died aged 66. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

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Archie Panjabi, who played Puri's daughter in Bafta-winning East Is East, wrote on Twitter: "Devastated to hear of the sad loss of @OmRajeshPuri. He was a true gem. Rest in Peace."

Emmerdale actor Chris Bisson, who also starred in the film as one of his children, wrote: "Really sad that #OmPuri has passed away. A great man, a great talent, he taught me a lot.

"He was a guiding light whilst making #EastisEast."

East Is East and Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol wrote: "So very sad to hear that the talented and beautiful actor Om Puri has passed away - much love to you dear soul - East is East family."

Om Puri, star of cult British film East Is East, who has died aged 66. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

Kunal Nayyar, best known for starring in US sitcom The Big Bang Theory, wrote a message to Puri.

He said: "Dear Om Puri, the truth you brought to everything you did, will never be matched ... your body may be gone, but your spirit will remain forever."

Priyanka Chopra, who appeared with Puri in 2006 Hindi film Don, shared a picture of the two of them together on her Instagram page.

She wrote that his death marks "the end of an era" and that his "legacy lives on".

Sri Lankan actress Jacqueline Fernandez praised Puri in a tweet that read: "We lost a legend today. Your contribution to Indian cinema won't be forgotten #OmPuri."

Bollywood star Sidharth Malhotra said: "Really sad to hear #Ompuri sir is no more, a genius performer! My thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first to share a tribute to Puri.

A message from Modi's office tweeted: "The Prime Minister condoles the passing away of actor Om Puri & recalls his long career in theatre & films."

Puri's death was announced by Bollywood director Ashoke Pandit on Friday, who tweeted that he was "sad and shocked".

Puri had won a slew of national awards and international fame for his work in several critically acclaimed films during his prestigious career.

His breakthrough film was the 1983 gritty drama Ardh Satya or Half Truth, about a young policeman's crisis of conscience as he deals with the nexus of crime and politics in India.

Puri had a small role in Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi, based on the life of the Indian freedom leader Mohandas Gandhi.

He also acted in several Hollywood films, including City Of Joy, Wolf and Charlie Wilson's War.

Puri won plaudits for his portrayal of a tough but loving Pakistani patriarch in the 1999 comedy drama East Is East, for which he was nominated for a best actor Bafta.

He later reprised his role as George Khan in the 2010 sequel West Is West.

He went on to appear in the critically acclaimed television adaptation of White Teeth in 2002.

Puri was made an honorary officer of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to British cinema in 2004.

More recently he starred alongside Dame Helen Mirren in the 2014 comedy The Hundred-Foot Journey.

He will be cremated later on Friday, the Associated Press reported.