Veteran actor Amrish Puri, best known for his roles as a villain in Bollywood films, died Wednesday after suffering a brain haemorrhage, hospital sources said. Puri, 72, had acted in 221 Bollywood films, with a light-comedy “Hulchul”, released in December, his last major hit. The actor, who brought his own distinctive style to the screen, was the bald-headed “Mogambo” in the 1987 sci-fi Hindi flick, “Mr India,” directed by Shekhar Kapur of “Elizabeth” fame. The big break for Puri, younger brother of former Bollywood character actor Madan Puri, came at the age of 40 although for success he had to wait for the 1982 box office hit “Vidhaata”. In the same year, he caught the attention of global audiences with a cameo role in Richard Attenbourough’s film “Gandhi.”

Puri showed his versatility when he switched to character roles in the 1990s with “Phool Aur Kaante” and “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge”. “There is no question that he gave his best in all his roles,” Bollywood director Govind Nihalani said of the versatile actor. — AFP