Amrish Puri - Early Life and Background

Early Life and Background

Amrish Singh Puri was born in Nawanshahr (former Tehsil of District Jalandhar), Punjab to Sardar Nihal Singh Puri and Sardarni Ved Kaur as the third of five children. His siblings include elder brothers Chaman Puri and Madan Puri (both actors) and elder sister Chandrakanta and younger Harish Puri. He later moved to Shimla and graduated from B.M. College, Himachal Pradesh.

Amrish Puri came to Mumbai in the footsteps of his elder brothers Chaman Puri and Madan Puri (both actors), who was already an established actor known for playing negative roles. He failed his first screen test, and found a job with the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). At the same time, he started performing at the Prithvi Theatre, in plays written by Satyadev Dubey. He eventually became well known as 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 late age of 40.

He went on to work in Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Hollywood, Punjabi, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil films. Though he was successful in all of these industries, he is best known for his work in Bollywood cinema. He has appeared in over four hundred films. His dominating screen presence and baritone voice made him stand out amongst the other villains of the day. He is best known for his role as Mogambo in the 1987 blockbuster, Mr. India and for his portrayal of Mola Ram, the antagonist in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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