Amrish Puri was an Indian actor who was famous for his negative roles. He was born on 22 June 1932 in Nawanshahr, Punjab. He died on 12 January 2005 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He earned a bachelor’s degree from BM University, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. 

His father’s name was Lala Nihal Chand Puri. His mother’s name was Ved Kaur. He had three brothers, Chaman Puri, Madan Puri and Harish Puri. He also had a sister, Chandrakanta. 

He was married to Urmila Divekar. They were parents of two children, Rajeev and Namrata. 

Amrish’s favourites

His hobbies were listening to Indian classical music, travelling, and collecting hats. 

His favourite film producer was Subhash Ghai. 

He admired the compositions by SD Barman and RD Barman. 

His favourite singers were KL Sehgal and Kishore Kumar. 

Interesting facts about Amrish Puri 

His elder brothers, Chaman Puri and Madan Puri, were also actors.

Amrish Puri was the cousin of veteran actor and singer KL Sehgal.

After completing his graduation, he moved to Mumbai to pursue his acting career.

Amrish Puri failed in his first screen-test. To earn a living, he started working at Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Amrish Puri’s works in theatre

In the year 1961, he met the theatre artist, Ibrahim Alkazi. 

Amrish Puri started performing in Satyadev Dubey's plays at Prithvi Theatre.

Satyadev Dubey was Amrish Puri’s inspiration.

He worked extensively in theatre before becoming a famous film star. 

Amrish Puri’s debut

In the year 1970, Amrish Puri made his debut in the film industry with ‘Prem Pujari’. 

In 1973, Amrish Puri played the role of a village sarpanch in Girish Karnad's Kannada film ‘Kaadun’. 

In 1980, he was seen in the film ‘Paanch’.

Amrish Puri made a name for himself in the film industry with his bold and husky voice, and intense expressions. 

In his lifetime, Amrish Puri did more than 60 long plays. He played 5 different roles in the play ‘Aadhe Adhure’ which was of a husband, lover, and three other characters.

In 1979, he was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his significant contribution to theatre.

Amrish Puri’s dialogue delivery was loved by his fans. 

Amrish Puri’s international projects

In 1984, he played the role of the character ‘Mola Ram’ in Steven Spielberg's Hollywood film ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’. Amrish Puri shaved his head for the role. 

In an interview, Steven Spielberg said that "Amrish is my favourite villain and there will never be a villain like him in the world." 

Amrish Puri set a benchmark in the film industry for playing the role of villains. 

His dialogue ‘Ja Simran ja jee le apni zindagi’ from the film ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ is frequently recreated by his fans.


In the year 1986, he was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for ‘Meri Jung’.

In 1994 he received the Best Actor Award for ‘Sun's Seventh Horse’ at the Sydney Film Festival and Singapore International Film Festival.

In 1997, he was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film ‘Ghatak’. The next year, he received the Best Supporting Actor award for the film ‘Virasat’.


Amrish Puri died on 12 January 2005 after suffering from brain haemorrhage.