Veteran actor Tom Alter dies at 67

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Mumbai: Veteran film, television and theatre actor Tom Alter passed away in Mumbai on Friday night. He was 67.
He is survived by wife Carol Evans, son Jamie and daughter Afshaan.
Tom was suffering from Stage-IV skin cancer.
A statement released on behalf of his family said, “It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father.”
A recipient of the coveted Padma Shri award, he was a prolific sports writer and author and his career spanning close to four decades, he had acted in over 300 films.
An alumnus of the Films and Television Institute of India in Pune, he has carved a niche for himself in the entertainment industry.
He worked for films, theatre and television and had excelled in all the fields. He could speak English, Hindi and Urdu with equal ease – though his looks were of a gora-sahib.
He has worked for noted filmmakers like Satyajit Ray in Shatranj Ke Khilari and is remembered for his role as a British officer in Kranti. In Sardar, the 1993 film biography of Indian leader Sardar Patel, which focused on the events surrounding the partition and independence of India, Alter portrayed Lord Mountbatten of Burma. He played the role of gangster Keshav Kalsi in soap opera ‘Junoon’, which ran for a record five years during the 1990s.
His other popular television stints included Shayam Benegal’s Bharat Ek Khoj, Zabaan Sambhalke and Betaal Pachisi.
He later acted in several foreign films too, notably Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi and One Night with the King.Alter was also the first to take the television interview Sachin Tendulkar, then a young kid and budding genius.
He was of American descent and a native of Mussoorie, where he grew up and went to school. He was born to American missionaries in 1950. Tom Alter’s grandparents came to India from Ohio in 1916, settling in Lahore. After Partition, Tom Alter’s father, who was born in Sialkot, moved to India. He graduated from the Woodstock School, Mussoorie.
Tom Alter was inspired to take up acting in Bollywood after he watched Rajesh Khanna- Sharmila Tagore starrer Aaradhna. It was Dharmendra who gave him the first break in Charas.

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