Tom Alter passes away

 MUMBAI, Sept 30 – Veteran theatre, television and film actor Tom Alter, best known for his versatile performances in Shatranj Ke Khilari, Junoon and Kranti, passed away aged 67. The renowned actor and Padma Shri awardee, who had been battling stage four skin cancer, died last 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 to the Saifee Hospital. Alter’s last rites were performed at the Worli crematorium this afternoon.

Mourning Alter’s demise, President Ram Nath Kovind offered condolences to the actor’s family. “Sad to hear of demise of veteran actor Tom Alter. He will be remembered by film lovers. Condolences to his family #PresidentKovind,” he posted on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief and recalled Alter’s contribution to film and theatre. “PM expressed grief on the demise of Shri Tom Alter and recalled his contribution to the film world and theatre. He extended

condolences to the family and admirers of Shri Tom Alter,” the official handle of PMO posted.

An Indian actor of American descent, Alter was born to American Christian missionary parents in Mussoorie in 1950. Alter made his film debut in 1976 with Ramanand Sagar’s directorial venture, Charas. 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 of his most celebrated films was Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977). It was followed by Shyam Benegal’s Junoon (1979), Manoj Kumar’s Kranti (1981) and Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985). His acting credits also include Aashiqui, Parinda, Sardar Patel and Gandhi. He made his debut in regional cinema in 1977 and acted in Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Telegu, Tamil and Kumaoni films.

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. – PTI

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