Los Angeles: The 89th Academy Awards commemorated legendary Indian actor late Om Puri in a musical tribute on Sunday. Even before Indian beauties Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone made their foray into Hollywood, iconic actor Puri has already established a name there.
Om Puri, whose forte as an actor reflected a rare realism and was popular for films like East Is East, Gandhi, City of Joy and Wolf, was felicitated at the Oscars 2017 held at the Dolby Theatre here, in the “In Memoriam” montage.
Om Puri, who died of a heart attack in Mumbai last month, got a musical tribute by Grammy and Tony-nominated singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles.
Bareilles delivered a special performance of the Joni Mitchell song “Both sides now”. A visibly emotional actress Jennifer Aniston introduced the memoriam segment. He was included in the annual montage along with Carrie Fisher, Prince, Gene Wilder, Michael Cimino, Patty Duke, Garry Marshall, Anton Yelchin, Mary Tyler Moore, Curtis Hanson and John Hurt.
Bareilles created an emotional moment as she rendered the song in memory of all the departed souls. While not in the video presentation, actor Bill Paxton, who died the night before, was mentioned by Aniston before Bareilles took the stage.
Several Bollywood celebs took to Twitter to express happiness that Om Puri was remembered at the awards ceremony.
Om Puri was known for his deep baritone and different acting style, as well as craggy, pockmarked but distinctive face. He had an affinity towards socially relevant cinema.
A National School of Drama alumnus, Om Puri nurtured an international career, which started with a cameo in Richard Attenborough’s iconic Gandhi. Among some of his British films were My Son the Fanatic, East Is East and The Parole Officer. He also appeared in Hollywood films including City of Joy, Wolf and The Ghost and the Darkness.
A Padma Shri awardee and National Award-winner, Om Puri was also made the honorary officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the British film industry.