Veteran actor and theatre personality Tom Alter passed away at his residence in Mumbai late last night. 67-year old Padma Shri awardee Alter was suffering from skin cancer.
The Indian actor of American descent, Tom Alter made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas and later went on to work in films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Kranti, Bose: The Forgotten Hero and Veer Zara. But it was his sitcom Zabaan Sambhalke (1993-1997) that made him a household name.
The series, also starring Pankaj Kapoor, was the adaptation of British sitcom, Mind Your Language (1977).
Born in Mussoorie in 1950, Alter was a third-generation American in India who studied at Woodstock School in the Himalayas and then briefly at Yale University in the USA, before returning to India in the early 70s.
In 1972, he was one of three men – the others being Benjamin Gilani and Phunsok Ladakhi – chosen from over 800 applicants across north India to be enrolled in at the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, where two years later he graduated with a gold medal diploma in acting.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief on the demise of Tom Alter.
In a tweet, Mr. Kovind said, the actor will be remembered by film lovers and expressed condolences to his family.
In his tweet, Mr Modi recalled Tom Alter’s contribution to the film world and theatre.
The Prime Minister extended condolences to the family and admirers of the actor.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani also condoled the demise of the veteran actor.