Amrish Puri

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Amrish Lal Puri was an iconic theater and film actor from India, who was a key player in the Indian theater movement that picked up steam in the 1960s. He worked with notable playwrights of the time, such as Satyadev Dubey & Girish Karnad. However, he is primarily remembered for essaying some iconic negative roles in Hindi cinema. His is most remembered for his role as Mogambo in the Hindi film Mr India (1987). Also, as Mola Ram in the Hollywood film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), he crossed over to international cinema as well.

Personal Profile (Personal Biography)
Original Name: Amrish Puri
Commonly Known Name: Mogambo
Date of Birth (Birthday): 22 June, 1932
Date of Death: 12-1-05
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Eye Color: Black
Hair Color: Black
Birth Place: Nawanshahr, Punjab
Languages: Hindi, English
Contact Address: Vardhan, Plot No. 45, 11th Road, Juhu Scheme, Mumbai 400 049

Family Background
Brother(s): Madanpuri
Son: Rajiv
Daughter: Namrata

Film Background (Filmography)
Debut Film: Reshma Aur Shera
Famous Movies: Mumbai Express, Kisna, Hulchul, Aitraaz, Lakshya, The Hero, Nayak: The Real Hero, Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai, Baadshah, Taal, Salaakhen, Pardes, Virasat, Ghatak,Sangram, Aaj Ka Arjun, Mr India, Jagir, Dostana, Salaakhen
Film Awards: Best Supporting Role For Virasat (1997)

Family Life
Amrish Puri was born in Nawanshahr, Punjab to Lala Nihal Chand and Ved Kaur as the third of four children. His siblings include elder brother Madan Puri (actor) and elder sister Chandrakanta. He later moved to Shimla and graduated from B.M. College, Himachal Pradesh.

Amrish Puri came to Mumbai in the footsteps of his elder brother, Madan Puri, who was already an established actor known for playing negative roles. He failed his first screen test, and found a job with the Life Insurance Corporation of India. 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.[1] 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, 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 movies. 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.

National Cinema


In 1970 he appeared in his first film, Prem Pujari although the first film he had signed for was Reshma Aur Sheraaa which released in 1971. This was followed by many villain or supporting roles in numerous art films such as Shyam Benegal’s Nishant, Manthan, and Bhumika and Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda. He also appeared in Govind Nihalani’s film, Party in 1984.

Amrish Puri grew to became a staple of Hindi films in the 1980s playing mostly villainous roles, and attracting the most acclaim for his work in the 1987 hit film Mr. India, directed by Shekhar Kapur. He played an egotistical international super-villain, Mogambo, who frequently refers to himself in the third-person, expressing satisfaction at the actions of his underlings with the phrase, Mogambo khush hua (Mogambo is pleased). Since then the Mogambo catchphrase has become one of the best recognized lines in Hindi Cinema.

He also went on to play many positive supporting roles, including his famous role as Baldev Singh, the conservative father who eventually lets his daughter marry her love instead of being forced into an arranged marriage, in the Bollywood blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995). Other positive roles include Group Captain Varghese, a Malayali officer in the Indian Air Force based movie Vijeta, an ailing idealistic father in Ghatak. He was a kind-hearted American businessman in Pardes (1997) and a genial grandfather in the films Chori Chori Chupke Chupke and Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai. He is also known to play a strict old man in comedy movies like Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate, where he played a retired cop and Muskurahat where he played a retired judge.

His last films included Kisna: The Warrior Poet and Kachchi Sadak, which were released some time after his death.


He starred as the sadistic jailor in Kalapani in which co-acted Padmashri Mohanlal, the biggest name of the Malayalam film industry.


He is best known in Punjabi cinema for his role as the landlord villain Joginder Singh in the legendary film Chan Pardesi (1980). He also starred as the villain Zalam Singh in the religious Punjabi film Sat Sri Akal (1977). After twenty years, he returned to Punjabi cinema to make a brief appearance as the Sufi Saint in the acclaimed film Shaheed Uddham Singh (2000).


He also appeared in Telugu movies such as Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari, Major Chandrakanth, Aditya-369, Kondaveeti Donga, Aswamedham, Aakhari Poratam etc.


He appeared in the Tamil film Dalapathi (1991), directed by Mani Ratnam, opposite Rajnikanth and Mammootty, Tamil and Malayalam superstars respectively. After Dalapathi, Amrish Puri made his second and last appearance in the Rajinkanth’s film “Baba” (2002) in which he played the role of an evil tantrik who helps politicians and other evil elements to succeed in their hideous schemes.


He acted in some Kannada movies during the early days of his career. He played the protagonist role in a black & white off beat Kannada movie Kaadu directed by Girish Karnad.He also acted in some other mainstream films.

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 the 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 and became one of the most popular villains in Hindi Cinema. Amrish and Spielberg shared a great rapport and Spielberg often said in interviews that, “Amrish is my favorite villain- The best the world has ever produced and ever will!”

Personal life
He married Urmila Divekar on 5 January 1957, at the Shri Krishna Temple in Wadala. The couple have two children, son Rajeev Puri and daughter Namrata Puri. His son Rajeev is a businessman married to a physiotherapist, Meena. They have two children – Harshvardhan Puri and Sachi Puri. Namrata Puri and her husband Shirish Bagwe, also have two children, Krish and Shantanu.

Amrish had a passion for collecting hats, and bought a hat or two on every trip abroad. He had a collection of over 200 hats from across the world. Amrish was a very religious person by heart and a Shiva devotee. He was also very secular minded and believed that all religions had their own strong ideologies.


  • 1968:won: Maharashtra State Drama Competition
  • 1979:won:Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Theatre
  • 1990:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Tridev
  • 1986:won:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, Meri Jung
  • 1991:won:Maharashtra State Gaurav Puraskar
  • 1994:won:Sydney Film Festival, Best Actor Award – Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
  • 1994:won:Singapore International Film Festival, Best Actor Award – Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda
  • 1996:Nominated:Filmfare Best Villain Award forKaran Arjun
  • 1996:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
  • 1993:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Muskurahat
  • 1994:Nominated:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Gardish
  • 1997:won:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Ghatak
  • 1997:won:Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor-Ghatak
  • 1999:Nominated:Filmfare Best Villain Award forKoyla
  • 1998:won:Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award-Virasat
  • 1998:won:Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor-Virasat
  • 2000:Nominated:Filmfare Best Villain Award for Baadshah
  • 2002:Nominated:Filmfare Best Villain Award for Gadar:Ek Prem Katha

Amrish Puri acted in more than 400 films between 1967 – 2005. Some of them are listed below.

Year Film Role
1970 Prem Pujari henchman in church
1971 Shantata Court Chalu Aahe
Reshma Aur Shera Rehmat Khan
Hulchul Public Prosecutor
1973 Kaadu (Kannada) Chandra Gowda
Hindustan Ki Kasam
1975 Salaakhen Master
Nishant Eldest Zamindar
1976 Manthan Mishraji
1977 Paapi voice(uncredited)…Michael
Alibaba Marjinaa Jabbar
Imman Dharam Dharam Dhayal
Bhumika Vinayak Kale
1978 Kondura Konduraswamy
1979 Sawan Ko Aane Do Chandrika’s dad
Jaani Dushman Man in train
Hamare Tumhare General MAnager
1980 Patthar Se Takkar
Maan Abhiman Madhuraprasad Chowdhary
Kalyug Kishan Chand
Chan Pardesi Joginder Singh
Aakrosh Dushane, Public Prosecutor
Qurbani Rakka
Gehrayee Tantric magician
Dostana Balwant Singh
Hum Paanch Veer Pratap Singh
1981 Krodhi Madhavan
Naseeb Don
1982 Vijeta Chief Instructor Varghese
Vidhatha Jagavar Chowdhary
Johny I Love You
Ashanti Ranvir
Aadat Se Majboor Agnihotri (aka Johinder Singh)
Apna Bana Lo Mr.Joshi
Shakti J.K.Verma
Gandhi Khan
1983 Mandi Darvish
Hero Pasha
Ardh Satya Anant’s Father
Andha Kanoon Mr.Ram Gupta
Coolie John D’Costa
1984 Zakhmi Sher Swami Kashinath Singh
Yeh Desh Dhulia
Party Doctor
Jagir Lakhan
Duniya Balwant Singh Kalra
Awaaz Moolchand
Mashaal S.K.Vardhan
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Mola Ram
Gangva Special Appearance
Jhootha Sach
Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki Udaybhan
1985 Zabardast
Teri Meherbaniyan
Phaansi Ke Baad Damodar Seth
Patthar Dil Rana Surajbhan Singh
Paisa Yeh Paisa Jugal
Mohabbat Choudhary
Karmayudh Sohanlal Puri
Aaj Ke Sholay Balbir Gupta
Meri Jung G.D. Thakral
1986 Ricky
Pyar Ho Gaya
Naseeb Apna Apna
Mera Dharam
Kaanch Ki Deewar
Aap Ke Saath Persha
Sultanat Razoulli Al-Jabber Al-Nasser
Janbaaz Rana Vikram Singh
Samundar Raiszada Narsingh
Asli Naqli Durjan Singh
1987 Tamas (mini TV series)
Sher Shivaji
Jawab Hum Denge Dhanraj
Inaam Dus Hazaar Captain S.P.Singh
Dance Dance A.M.Singh
Dadagiri Bhanupratap
Loha Sher ‘Shera’ Singh
Pyar Karke Dekho
Mr. India Mogambo
Hawalaat Seth Dharam Das
Sadak Chhap Dharamdas, MP
Pharam Dharam Shamshera
1988 Yateem Dacoit Porkhiya
Saazish Diwan
Mohabbat Ke Dushman Shahbaaz Khan
Mar Mitenge Ajit Singh
Hamara Khandaan Chandraprakash Singh (Vishal’s dad)
Ganga Jamuna Saraswathi Thakur Hansaj Singh
Aakhari Poratam Anantananda Swamy
Hun Farishte Nahin Pashrutam Das/Din Dayal
Shahenshah J.K.Verma
Waris (TV series) Dulla
Commando Marcelloni
Dayavan Inspector Ratan Singh
1989 Tujhe Nahin Chhodunga
Suryaa : An Awakening Gangadhar Chowdhary
Ram Lakhan Bhisambar Nath
Nigahen : Nagina Part II voice(uncredited)…Bhairon Nath
Nafrat Ki Aandhi Chandidas Khurana
Mujrim Khan
Do Qaidi K.K
Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe
Farz Ki Jung Jai Kishan (JK)
Ilaaka Nagar
Daata Gopal Das
Tridev Bhujang/Bhairav Singh
Batwara Hanumant Singh
Jaadugar Mahaprabhu Janak Sagar Jagat Narayan Chintamani
Aag Se Khelenge Zakha
1990 Tejaa Jarahwar
Muqaddar Ka Badshaah Vikral Singh
Kishen Kanhaiya Lala Gendamal
Jeene Do Thakur Sher Bahadur Singh
Ghayal Balwant Rai
Kondaveeti Donga Gadra
Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari Mahadrashta
Aaj Ka Arjun Thakur Bhupendra Singh
Doodh Ka Karz Raghuvir Singh
1991 Shikari : The Hunter Nahar Singh
Trinetra Singhania
Numbri Aadmi Rana
Mast Kalandar
Aadmi Aur Apsara Mahadrashta
Jigarwala Dhurjan Singh
Benaam Badsha Jaikal
Ajooba Vazir-e-Ala (aka Vazir)
Saudagar Chuniya
Aditya 369 Antique Collector
Dharam Sankat Jagira
Phool Aur Kaante Nageshwar “Don”
1992 Thalapathi Kalivardhan
Time Machine (Incomplete film)
Tehelka Dong
Vishwatma Azghar Jurhad
Zindagi Ek Jua Bhalla
Deewana Dhirend (Ravi’s uncle)
Muskurahat Gopichand Verma (Former Justice)
1993 Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda Mehesar Dalal
Sangram Raja’s father
Divya Shakti Tau (Mafia Don)
Damini Barrister Indrajit Chaddha (Scheming Lawyer)
Gardish Purushottam Sathe
1994 Tejaswini Lala Khurana
Maha Shaktishali
Elaan Ramakant Chaudhry
Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hukam Singh
Droh Kaal I.G.P Pathak
1995 Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India Don Quixote
Kartavya Thakur Ugranarayan Singh
Karan Arjun Thakur Durjan Singh
Jai Vikraanta Thakur Jaswant Singh
Hulchul Shobraj
Maidan-E-Jung Thakur Ranvir Singh ‘Daata Guru’
Prem Vanraja
Gundaraj Police Inspector
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Chaudhry Baldev Singh
Haqeeqat ACP. Shivcharan
1996 Sardari Begum Hemraj
Kala Pani Mirza Khan
Jaan Surya Dev Singh
Dilijale Daka
Vijeta Wing Commander Varghese
Tu Chor Main Sipahi Thakur Gajendra Singh
Jeet Gajraj Choudhary (Underworld Don)
Beqabu ACP Amritlal Bakshi
Ghatak Shambu Nath
1997 Virasat Raja Thakur (Best Supporting Actor- Filmfare award)
Pardes Kishorilal
Himalay Putra Malhotra, Seema’s father (special appearance)
Dhaal: The Battle of Law Against Law Pilot Baba
Koyla Raja Saab
Mahaanta Seth. Kedar Nath
Tarazu Appa Rao
1998 Sham Ghansham Collector Bhim Singh
Doli Saja Ke Rakhna Jojo Pinto
Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge Voice on the phone with Tiger
China Gate Col. Kewal Krishan Puri
Chachi 420 Durgaprasad Bhardwaj
Barood Mr.Singhal
Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate Abhayankar (Police officer)
1999 Kaala Samrajya Kaalkeshwar Singh
Lal Baadshah Thakur Dhayal Singh
Aarzoo Dayashankar
Zulmi Balraj Dutt
Jai Hind
Taal Jagmohan Mehta
Baadshah Suraj Singh Thaper
Gair C.K Oberoi
Thakshak Nahar Singh (Ishaan’s father)
2000 Shaheed Uddham Singh The Sufi Saint
Badal ACP Ranjeet Singh
Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke Yagvender Gareval
2001 Mohabbatein General Khanna (special appearance)
On Wings Of Fire Nihavand ruler
Zubeidaa Suleiman Seth
Censor Pandit Shiv Prasad (Censor Board Member)
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke Kailashnath Malhotra
Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai Balram Singh (Tau of Karan)
Gadar: Ek Prem Katha Mayor Ashraf Ali (Sakina’s father)
Yaadein Jagdish Kumar Malhotra (Ronit’s uncle)
Nayak: The Real Hero Chief Minister Balraj Chauhan
2002 Badhaai Ho Badhaai Mr. Chaddha
Shararat Prajapati
Baba Tantrik
Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani Sadhu (sage)
Rishtey Yashpal Chaudhary
2003 Surya Thakur
Khushi Vir Bhadra Singh
The Hero: Love Story of a Spy I.S.I Chief Ishak Khan
Jaal: The Trap Major Amrish Kaul
Out of Control Jatta Singh Bedi (Jaswinder’s father)
Dil Pardesi Ho Gayaa Brigadier Sarfaroz Khan
2004 Woh Tera Naam Tha Ustad Samad Khan
Police Force: An Inside Story Mr. Pandey
Dev Chief Minister Bhandarker
Lakshya Brigadier Gautam Puri (Sp. App.)
Garv: Pride and Honour Inspector Samar Singh
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi Colonel Dugraj Singh
Taarzan: The Wonder Car Kartar Singh/Baa Ji
Aitraaz Mr.Ranjit Roy
Hulchul Angar Chand
2005 Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo Narrator
Kisna: The Warrior Poet Bhairo Singh

Kacchi Sadak Director- Sanjay Singh Released

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Amol Palekar

Amol Palekar is a well known actor of the 1970s and later a director of notable Hindi