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Amrish Puri, Bollywood’s favorite villain, dies

Actor died from a brain hemorrhage at 72
/ Source: The Associated Press

Amrish Puri, Bollywood’s favorite villain and one of several Indian actors to find roles in British and American movies, died in a Bombay hospital from a brain hemorrhage. He was 72.

Puri, who suffered from a neurological disorder, died Wednesday after being admitted to Bombay’s Hinduja Hospital on Dec. 28 — one day after he fell at his home, hospital administrator Anupam Verma said.

“He suffered a head injury due to the fall and didn’t really recover,” Verma said.

Puri had for the past 10 months suffered from a disease that among other complications, prevents blood from clotting.

Puri acted in some 220 Bollywood movies after his 1971 debut in the Hindi film “Reshma Aur Shera.”

Some of Puri’s best known movies were “Naseeb” (“Fate”), “Ardh Satya” (“Half Truth”), “Andha Kanoon” (“Blind Law”), “Shakti” (“Strength”), “Coolie” (“Porter”) and “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (“The big-hearted will walk away with the bride”).

With his deep voice and gruff, evil laughter, he was one of a growing number of Indian actors to find roles in British and American movies.

Puri played a small role in Richard Attenborough’s Oscar-winning 1982 movie “Gandhi” as Khan, the nonviolence leader’s Muslim sponsor in South Africa, where Mahatma Gandhi began his fight against injustice.

He shaved his hair for the part of the villain Mola Ram in Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” in 1984.

Before joining the Hindi film industry, Puri acted in Indian theater and did voiceovers for advertising campaigns.

He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter. The funeral was scheduled for Thursday.