By Renu Baliyan
Legendary star Amrish Puri’s contribution to Bollywood can’t be forgotten. Whenever you think of the actor, his thunderous voice and his inimitable expression comes to your mind. He is one Bollywood villain who made almost all the characters he played in his movies memorable. The outstanding actor gave the film industry several iconic villain characters that you must have spoken at least once in your life.
June 22 marks the birth anniversary of Amrish Puri. In his glorious career that spanned over 30 years, the late actor acted in more than 400 films. He portrayed the strict yet kind-hearted character of bauji in “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” with effortless ease.
And, the role of villain Mogambo that he played in Mr India is still remembered by his fans all across the globe. He was one such actor who could either play a villain, a soft-hearted father or just a villager and made the character hugely popular.
His acting prowess was even recognized by American film director Steven Spielberg who called Amrish Puri as his favorite villain and the best the world has ever produced and ever will.
Amrish Puri arrived in Mumbai in the early 1950s to chase his dreams of becoming an actor following the footsteps of his actor brothers Madan Puri and Chaman Puri. However, he failed in his first screen test and secured the job with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
Amrish Puri made his acting debut in Bollywood at the age of 40. When Amrish Puri was working with ESIC, he also got into theatre that subsequently helped him bag some projects in TV and films. Amrish Puri’s debut in Bollywood happened with the film “Prem Pujari” where the late actor played the role of a henchman.
The actor played the role of villain in “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”. He played the role of villain Mola Ram in Spielberg’s film that also featured actor Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw. Interestingly, Amrish Puri initially refused the role of villain in the film.
Reports state that when the casting agents from USA came to India to meet Amrish Puri, he did not agree to get auditioned for the role and instead asked the agents to watch him perform on the sets. Finally, the actor gave his nod to play the role and discovered the production quite remarkable.
After the film, Steven Spielberg wrote a letter to Amrish Puri in which he confessed that he is the only person for whom he flew to another country for an audition and called Puri the greatest villain in the world.
Amrish Puri’s grandson Vardhan Puri described his grandfather as a family man, gentleman, and a dedicated artist. He revealed that the actor was quite fond of watching Tom & Jerry and he would watch it for hours.
As we celebrate the 89th birth anniversary of Amrish Puri today, let us remember some of the most iconic dialogues of his movie that will always remain etched in his fans’ memories:
1. Jaa Simran Jaa Jee Le Apni Zindagi- Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
2. Balraj apne dushmano ko tab tak nahi bhulta jab tak unhe shamshan nahi phoncha deta – Zulmi
3. Mogambo Khush Hua- Mr India
4. Jaha meri awaaz pahunch sakti hai.. wahan meri goli bhi pahunch sakti hai-Phool Aur Kaante
5. Upar Wala Wrong Ho Sakta Hai Lekin Don Kabhi WrongNahi Hota- Tehelka
6. Itne tukde karunga ki pehchana nahi jayega – Gadar
7. Jo Zindagi mujhse takrati hai sisak sisak ked dum todti hai- Ghayal
8. Aadmi ke pas dimag ho to wo apna dard bhi bech sakta hai -Aitraaz
9. Main toh samajhta tha ki duniya mein mujhse badkar kamina aur koi nahi hai, lekin tumne end mauke par aisa kaminapan dikhaya hai…ki hum tumhare kaminepan ke Ghulam ho gaye hain – Karan Arjun
10. Tip Baad mei dena to ek rivaz hai, pahale dena achi service ki guarantee -Shahenshah