Amrish Puri


Intro: Indian Actor

Born: June 22, 1932

Born Place: Nawanshahr, India

Died: January 12, 2005

Death Place: P. D. Hinduja National Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, India

Gender: Male

Nationality: Indian


Amrishlal Puri (22 June 1932 – 12 January 2005) was an Indian actor, who was an important figure in Indian theatre and cinema. He worked with notable playwrights of the time, such as Satyadev Dubey and Girish Karnad. He is remembered for playing iconic villainous roles in Hindi cinema as well as other Indian and international film industries. To Indian audiences he is the most remembered for his role as Mogambo in Shekhar Kapur’s Hindi film Mr. India (1987), and to Western audiences he is best known as Mola Ram in Steven Spielberg’s Hollywood film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Puri has won three Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actor.


Amrish Puri was born in Nawanshahr, Jalandhar, Punjab to a Punjabi-speaking Khatri family of Nihal Chand Puri and Ved Kaur. He had four siblings, elder brothers Chaman Puri and Madan Puri (both of whom were also actors), elder sister Chandrakanta, and a younger brother, Harish Puri. He was the first cousin of the actor and singer K. L. Saigal.

amrish puri picture


Amrish Puri acted in more than 400 films between 1967 and 2005, and was one of the most successful villains in Bollywood. Puri first came to Mumbai following the footsteps of his elder brothers- Madan Puri and Chaman Puri, who were already established actors known for playing villainous roles. He failed his first screen test, and instead found a job with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation Ministry of Labour and Employment (ESIC). At the same time, he started performing at the Prithvi Theatre in plays written by Satyadev Dubey. He eventually became well known as a stage actor and won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1979. This theatre recognition soon led to work in television ads and eventually to films at the relatively late age of 40.

Puri went on to work in Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Hollywood, Punjabi, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil films. Though he was successful in many regional films, he is best known for his work in Bollywood cinema.

Through the 1970s, Puri often worked in supporting roles, usually as the henchman of the main villain. He was noticed in the 1980 super-hit movie Hum Paanch in which he played the main villain. After that, he started getting cast as the main villain in other movies. In 1982, Puri played the main villain, Jagavar Choudhary in the Subhash Ghai super-hit film Vidhaata. That same year, he again played the main villain, JK in the movie Shakti starring two legends- Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Next, in 1983, Subhash Ghai again cast him as the main villain, Pasha in the hit movie Hero. Puri regularly featured in subsequent Subhash Ghai films.

Puri reigned supreme in villainous roles in the 1980s and 1990s. In those decades, there was hardly any Bollywood film that did not feature Puri as a villain. His dominating screen presence and baritone voice made him stand out amongst the other villains of the day.

He is known to international audiences for his roles as khan in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982) and as the main antagonist Mola Ram in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). He shaved his head for the role, and it created such an impression that he kept his head shaved. His bald look gave him the flexibility to experiment with different looks as a villain in subsequent movies. Puri and Spielberg shared a great rapport and Spielberg often said in interviews: “Amrish is my favorite villain. The best the world has ever produced and ever will!”

In villainous roles, Puri is best remembered as “Mogambo” in Mr. India, “Jagavar” in Vidhaata, “Thakral” in Meri Jung, “Bhujang” in Tridev, “Balwant Rai” in Ghayal, Barrister Chadda in Damini and “Thakur Durjan Singh” in Karan Arjun. His comic role in Chachi 420, that he acted alongside Kamal Haasan was highly appreciated.

Since the 1990s until his death in 2005, Puri also featured in positive supporting roles in many movies. Some of his notable positive roles are Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Phool Aur Kaante, Gardish, Pardes, Virasat, Ghatak and China Gate. He received the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award for Meri Jung and Virasat.


Amrish Puri was suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare kind of blood cancer, and had undergone some brain invasive surgery for his condition after he was admitted to the Hinduja hospital on 27 December 2004. His condition required frequent removal of the blood accumulated in the cerebral region of the brain and after some time he slipped into a coma shortly before his death around 7:30 a.m on 12 January 2005.

His body was brought to his residence for people to pay their last respects, and his funeral was on 13 January 2005 at Shivaji Park crematorium.



  • 1968: Maharashtra State Drama
  • 1979: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Theatre
  • 1986: Filmfare Best Villain Award, Meri Jung
  • 1991: Maharashtra State Gaurav Puraskar
  • 1994: Sydney Film Festival, Best Actor Award – Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
  • 1994: Singapore International Film Festival, Best Actor Award – Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
  • 1997: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Ghatak
  • 1997: Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor – Ghatak
  • 1998: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award- Virasat
  • 1998: Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor – Virasat
  • 2000: Kalakar Awards for Best Supporting Actor


  • 1990: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Tridev
  • 1992: Filmfare Best Villain Award – Saudagar
  • 1993: Filmfare Best Villain Award – Tahalka
  • 1993: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Muskurahat
  • 1994: Filmfare Best Villain Award – Damini
  • 1994: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Gardish
  • 1996: Filmfare Best Villain Award – Karan Arjun
  • 1996: Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
  • 1999: Filmfare Best Villain Award – Koyla
  • 2000: Filmfare Best Villain Award – Baadshah
  • 2002: Filmfare Best Villain Award – Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
  • 2002: Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role – Gadar: Ek Prem Katha


Amrish Puri acted in more than 400 films between 1967 – 2005.

1970Prem PujariJerry, Henchman in church 
1971Aahat – Ek Ajeeb Kahani  
Reshma Aur SheraRehmat Khan 
Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe Marathi film
HulchulPublic Prosecutor 
1973Sone Ke Haath  
KaaduChandra GowdaKannada film
Hindustan Ki Kasam  
NishantEldest Zamindar 
1977Smothered Voices  
Immaan DharamDharam Dhayal 
BhumikaVinayak Kale 
Sat Sri Akal  
Rangaa Aur Raja  
Alibaba MarjinaaJabbar 
Hungama Bombay Ishtyle  
1979Hamare TumhareGeneral Manager 
Jaani DushmanMan in Ghost train reading horror story 
Sawan Ko Aane DoChandrika’s dad 
1980Chann PardesiJoginder Singh 
AakroshDusane, Public Prosecutor 
GehrayeeTantric magician 
DostanaBalwant Singh 
Hum PaanchVeer Pratap Singh 
Patthar Se TakkarDr. Anand 
Maan AbhimanMadhuraprasad Chowdhary 
KalyugKishan Chand 
Nai Imarat  
1982Ek Aur Sangraam  
Apna Bana LoMr.Joshi 
AshantiRaja Bhishm Bahadur Singh 
Aadat Se MajboorAgnihotri(a.k.a. Johinder Singh)
ShaktiJ.K. Verma 
Johny I Love YouZalim Singh 
VidhaataJagavar Chowdhary 
VijetaChief Instructor Varghese 
Main Inteqaam LoongaGoverdhan Das (GD) 
Andha KanoonMr.Ram Gupta 
Ardh SatyaAnant’s Father 
CoolieJohn D’Costa 
HaadsaR.K. Chakravarty 
Indiana Jones and the Temple of DoomMola Ram 
Insaaf Kaun KaregaBhanupratap 
GangvaaSpecial Appearance 
DuniyaBalwant Singh Kalra 
Jhootha SachKolga 
Kasam Paida Karne Wale KiUdaybhan Singh 
Zakhmi SherSwami Kashinath Singh 
Yeh DeshDhulia 
Bandh Honth  
Gandu BherundaProfessor Jai 
1985Aaj Ke SholayBalbir Gupta 
ZabardastBalram Singh 
Meri JungG.D. ThakralFilmfare Best Villain Award,
Teri MeherbaniyanThakur Vijay Singh 
Phaansi Ke BaadDamodar Seth 
Patthar DilRana Surajbhan Singh 
Paisa Yeh PaisaJugal 
KarmayudhSohanlal Puri 
1986Pyar Ho GayaSapna’s Father 
Kaanch Ki DeewarBhoop Singh 
Aap Ke SaathPersha 
SultanatRazoulli Al-Jabber Al-Nasser 
JanbaazRana Vikram Singh 
BegaanaA.P. Lall 
SamundarRaiszada Narsingh 
Asli NaqliDurjan Singh 
Dosti Dushmani  
Ek Aur SikanderSher Khan 
Tamas (mini TV series)
Naseeb Apna Apna  
NaginaBaba Bhaironath 
Mera DharamThakur Digvijay Singh 
Maa Ki Saugandh  
On Wings of FireNihavand ruler 
LohaSher ‘Shera’ Singh 
MadadgarSunita’s Mama 
Dance DanceA.M.Singh 
Mr. IndiaMogambo 
HawalaatSeth Dharam Das 
Sadak ChhapDharamdas, MP 
Kaun Jeeta Kaun Haara  
Pharam DharamShamshera 
Sher Shivaji  
Jawab Hum DengeDhanraj 
Inaam Dus HazaarCaptain S.P.Singh 
Dil Tujhko DiyaMohla 
Dance DanceRaja Bahadur A.M. Singh 
Raj KapoorHimself 
1988Hun Farishte NahinPashrutam Das / Din Dayal 
Khoon Bahaa Ganga Mein  
WarisDulla K. Singh 
Mohabbat Ke DushmanShahbaaz Khan 
RukhsatJagdish Chopra 
Janam JanamYuvraj Thakur Balbir Singh 
DayavanInspector Ratan Singh 
Ganga Jamuna SaraswathiThakur Hansaj Singh 
YateemDacoit Porkhiya 
Mar MitengeAjit Singh 
Hamara KhandaanChandraprakash Singh (Vishal’s dad) 
Aakhari PoratamAnantananda Swamy(Telugu Movie)
Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe  
Suryaa: An AwakeningGangadhar Chowdhary 
Do QaidiK.K 
Farz Ki JungJai Kishan (JK) 
DaataGopal Das 
TridevBhujang / Bhairav SinghNominated- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
BatwaraHanumant Singh 
Hisaab Khoon KaRanvir Pushp 
JaadugarMahaprabhu Janak Sagar Jagat Narayan Chintamani 
Aag Se KhelengeZakha 
Tujhe Nahin Chhodunga  
Ram LakhanBhisambar Nath 
Nigahen : Nagina Part IIBhairon NathVoice, Uncredited
Nafrat Ki AandhiChandidas Khurana 
Mera Farz  
Kondaveeti DongaKhaadra /SPTelugu film
Hatim Tai  
Naaka BandiMangal Singh / Santhal 
Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka SundariMahadrashtaTelugu film
GhayalBalwant Rai 
Aaj Ka ArjunThakur Bhupendra Singh 
Doodh Ka KarzRaghuvir SinghMarathi Film
Qayamat Ki Raat  
Muqaddar Ka BadshaahVikral Singh 
Kishen KanhaiyaLala Gendamal 
Jeene DoThakur Sher Bahadur Singh 
Mohabbat Pehli Nazar Mein  
JigarwalaDhurjan Singh 
Benaam BadshaJaikal 
AjoobaVazir-e-Ala (a.k.a. Vazir) 
SaudagarChuniyaNominated- Filmfare Best Villain Award
Aditya 369Antique CollectorTelugu Movie
Dharam SankatJagira 
Phool Aur KaanteNageshwar “Don” 
ThalapathiKalivardhanTamil film
Shikari : The HunterNahar Singh 
Numbri AadmiRana 
Mast KalandarRaja Sahab 
1992Suraj Ka Satvan GhodaMahesar DalalSydney Film Festival, Best Actor Award,
Singapore International Film Festival, Best Actor Award
I Love You  
VishwatmaAzghar Jurhad 
VanshaVilasrao Chaudhary 
Zindagi Ek JuaBhalla 
DeewanaDhirend (Ravi’s uncle) 
TahalkaGeneral DongNominated- Filmfare Best Villain Award
MuskurahatGopichand Verma (Former Justice)Nominated- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
Time Machine (Incomplete film)
Ashwamedham Telugu film
1993Divya ShaktiTau (Mafia Don) 
KundanThakur Shamsher Singh 
DaminiBarrister Indrajit Chaddha (Scheming Lawyer)Nominated- Filmfare Best Villain Award
Nippu RavvaBalagam DhanrajTelugu film
GardishPurushottam SatheNominated- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
SangramRaja’s father 
Major ChandrakanthGnaneswara RaoTelugu film
1994ElaanRamakant Chaudhry 
Maha Shaktishali  
Pehla Pehla PyaarHukam Singh 
Droh KaalI.G.P Pathak 
TejaswiniLala Khurana 
ParamaatmaChaudhry Rudranarayan 
1995Mohabatto Ka Safar  
Karan ArjunThakur Durjan SinghNominated- Filmfare Best Villain Award
Jai VikraantaThakur Jaswant Singh 
Maidan-E-JungThakur Ranvir Singh ‘Daata Guru’ 
Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India!Don Quixote 
GundarajPolice Inspector 
Dilwale Dulhania Le JayengeChaudhry Baldev SinghNominated- Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
HaqeeqatACP. Shivcharan 
Paappi DevataaRatan Seth 
KartavyaThakur Ugranarayan Singh 
1996VijetaWing Commander Varghese 
Kala PaniMirza KhanMalayalam film
Tu Chor Main SipahiThakur Gajendra Singh 
JeetGajraj Choudhary (Underworld Don) 
BeqabuACP Amritlal Bakshi 
GhatakShambu NathFilmfare Best Supporting Actor Award

Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor

Sardari BegumHemraj 
JaanSurya Dev Singh 
1997Khiladi No 1  
KoylaRaja SaabNominated- Filmfare Best Villain Award
MahaantaSeth. Kedar Nath 
TarazuAppa Rao 
Chachi 420Durgaprasad Bhardwaj 
VirasatRaja ThakurFilmfare Best Supporting Actor Award

Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor

ItihaasPradhan Des Pandey 
Himalay PutraMalhotra, Seema’s father(special appearance)
Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against LawPilot Baba 
1998Sham GhanshamCollector Bhim Singh 
SalaakhenJaspal Rana 
Jhooth Bole Kauwa KaateAbhayankar (Police officer) 
Doli Saja Ke RakhnaJojo Pinto 
Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge!Voice on the phone with Tiger 
China GateCol. Kewal Krishan Puri 
1999Lal BaadshahThakur Dhayal Singh 
ZulmiBalraj Dutt 
Jai Hind  
TaalJagmohan Mehta 
BaadshahSuraj Singh ThapparNominated- Filmfare Best Villain Award
GairC.K Oberoi 
Kaala SamrajyaKaalkeshwar Singh 
2000BadalACP Ranjeet Singh 
Ek AjoobaGuruji 
Dhaai Akshar Prem KeYagvender Gareval 
MohabbateinGeneral Khanna(special appearance)
Shaheed Uddham SinghThe Sufi Saint 
2001On Wings of FireNihavand ruler 
ZubeidaaSuleiman Seth 
CensorPandit Shiv Prasad (Censor board member) 
Chori Chori Chupke ChupkeKailashnath Malhotra 
Mujhe Kucch Kehna HaiBalram Singh (Tau of Karan) 
Gadar: Ek Prem KathaMayor Ashraf Ali (Sakina’s father)Nominated- Filmfare Best Villain Award

Nominated- Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role

YaadeinJagdish Kumar Malhotra (Ronit’s uncle) 
Nayak: The Real HeroChief Minister Balraj Chauhan 
2002Badmaash No.1  
Badhaai Ho BadhaaiMr. Chaddha 
BabaTantrikTamil film
Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi KahaniSadhu (sage) 
RishteyYashpal Chaudhary 
2003KhushiVir Bhadra Singh 
The Hero: Love Story of a SpyI.S.I Chief Ishak Khan 
Jaal: The TrapMajor Amrish Kaul 
Out of ControlJatta Singh Bedi (Jaswinder’s father) 
Dil Pardesi Ho GayaaBrigadier Sarfaroz Khan 
Police Force: An Inside StoryMr. Pandey 
Love Kannada film
DevChief Minister Bhandarker 
LakshyaBrigadier Gautam Puri (Sp. App.)Uncredited
Garv: Pride and Honourcommissioner of police Samar Singh 
Mujhse Shaadi KarogiColonel Dugraj Singh 
Taarzan: The Wonder CarKartar Singh/Baa Ji 
AitraazMr. Ranjit Roy 
HulchulAngar Chand 
Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan SaathiyoNarrator 
Woh Tera Naam ThaUstad Samad Khan 
2005Kisna: The Warrior PoetBhairo Singh(final film role)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.


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