Guwahati/ 30th September’2017 (Prag News Desk): Padma Shri actor Tom Alter who acted in more than 300 movies including the cult soap opera, “Junoon” of 1990s is no more.
The veteran film, television and theatre actor died at the age of 67. Besides being a renowned actor, he was also a one-time sports writer and an author. His sudden demise has saddened the industry, Tom Alter had been battling stage four skin cancer.
Alter who was also a director, and a sports journalist was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV when the cricketer was yet to debut for India.
Alter has written three books, one non-fiction and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.
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. Tom passed away Friday night at home with his family and close family members in attendance. We ask for their privacy to be respected at this time.”
Born in the hill station of 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.
In early 2017, Alter enacted a festival of his various plays in Hindi, English, Hindustani and Urdu titled titled ‘Jashn-e-Maazi: The Play of History’ which featured 19 of his portrayals and adaptations of leading historical figures such as Maulana Azad, Mirza Ghalib, Manto, Saahir Ludhianvi, Rabindranath Tagore, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Alfred Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi.