Veteran actor Om Puri, a staple of Indian and world cinema for several decades and perhaps best known in Britain for his starring role in East Is East, has died at the age of 66.

The star suffered a heart attack in the early hours of Friday morning (January 6th) at his residence in Mumbai, according to local reports.

Om PuriIndian acting legend Om Puri has passed away at the age of 66

Om Puri, who starred in dozens of Bollywood, Hollywood and art house films throughout his career spanning four decades, was renowned for his uncompromising performances in a number of acclaimed Indian films in the 1980s, including Ardh Satya (or ‘Half Truth’), Sadgati and the satire Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (or ‘Just Let It Go, Friends’).

He later found crossover international fame for his roles in American and British movies, such as City of Joy, Wolf and Charlie Wilson’s War. In Britain, his most famous role was arguably in the 1999 comedy-drama East Is East, about an immigrant adjusting to life in the north of England.

Puri’s acting career did not decrease in its intensity even towards the end of his life, with his filmography showing a busy schedule throughout the 2000s and 2010s. His most recent high-profile Western film was 2014’s The Hundred Foot Journey, in which he starred opposite Helen Mirren.

Om PuriOm Puri with 'The Hundred Foot Journey' co-stars Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal

He was awarded an honorary OBE in 2004 for his services to the British film industry, and in 1990 was bestowed with the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honours.

Since the news of his passing was announced, fellow actors and fans have posted commemorations to Puri on social media – including the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

“The Prime Minister condoles the passing away of actor Om Puri & recalls his long career in theatre & films,” a tweet from the Indian leader read, amid dozens of other tributes from those who worked with him.

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