Veteran actor Tom Alter passes away at 67
Mumbai: Veteran theatre, TV and film actor Tom Alter, best known for his performances in Shatranj Ke Khilari, Junoon and Kranti, passed away on Friday night. The Padma Shri awardee, aged 67, had been battling stage-four skin cancer.
American that loved #India. His commitment to Indian culture films n poetry was absolute. A friend we can never say goodbye to RIP Shekhar Kapur, filmmaker
The world is a good man short this morning. Fine actor, pure sports lover and kind human being. You enriched our world Harsha Bhogle, sports commentator
Devastated to hear of my friend Tom Alter’s death. We first met in 1973 on the cricket field, he playing for Mussoorie, me for Dehradun Ramachandra Guha, historian
MUMBAI: Veteran theatre, television and film actor Tom Alter, best known for his performances in Shatranj Ke Khilari, Junoon and Kranti, has passed away aged 67.
The renowned actor and Padma Shri awardee, who had been battling stage four skin cancer, died on Friday night at his residence here. Alter was diagnosed with skin cancer last year and was treated for the same but earlier this month he suffered a relapse and was admitted in Saifee hospital.
Alter’s son Jaime said, “Cremation was done on Saturday. There is no set pattern for our family (referring to cremation and burial).” He further said that the memorial service will be held either on Tuesday or Wednesday.
An Indian actor of American descent, Alter, was born to American Christian missionary parents in Mussoorie in 1950. Alter was working as a teacher in a school in Jagadhri, Haryana, when he was bitten by the acting bug after watching Rajesh Khanna-Sharmila Tagore’s Aradhana.
The actor soon joined Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, where he studied acting from 1972 to 1974 and graduated with a gold medal. He made his film acting debut in 1976 with Ramanand Sagar’s directorial venture Charas, which starred Dharmendra and Hema Malini in lead role. Alter played the chief custom officer in the movie.
Though many felt Alter was stereotyped in Bollywood as the perennial British man, the actor went on to establish himself as a prolific character artiste with substantial contribution to films, theatre and television.
His next and one his most celebrated films was Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977), based on Munshi Premchand’s short story of the same name.
Alter was closely involved in theatre throughout his career. He co-founded Motley Productions with Naseeruddin Shah and Gilani in 1979.
A cricket enthusiast, Alter was also a sports journalist and was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV, before his debut as a cricketer for India.
The actor was awarded Padma Shri in 2008 for his services in the field of arts and cinema.