Vet­eran ac­tor Tom Al­ter passes away at 67

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

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.

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