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2-min read

Remembering Tom Alter: Key Projects That Celebrate The Actor's Legacy

The recipient of Padma Shri, Alter, even played Indian scholar and the senior Muslim leader of the Indian National Congress, Abdul Kalam Azad, in filmmaker Shyam Benegal’s TV miniseries Samvidhaan: The Making of the Constitution of India in 2014.

News18.com

Updated:September 30, 2017, 12:36 PM IST
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Remembering Tom Alter: Key Projects That Celebrate The Actor's Legacy
The recipient of Padma Shri, Alter, even played Indian scholar and the senior Muslim leader of the Indian National Congress, Abdul Kalam Azad, in filmmaker Shyam Benegal’s TV miniseries Samvidhaan: The Making of the Constitution of India in 2014.
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In a career spanning 40 years, Tom Alter had earned respectful credentials in the field of acting. From performing on the traditional medium of theatre to giving a daily dose of entertainment as Mahaguru and Don Keshav Kalsi on television, to essaying supporting yet essential parts on the big screen, Alter had a lot to offer in every format.

In addition, Alter, an Indian actor of American descent, was often cast as a foreign character in films, thanks to his looks and command over multiple languages. He, later, became director’s go-to actor to pull of those characters. Alter was not keeping well for the past few months and eventually lost the battle to cancer on Friday at the age of 67. He was diagnosed with stage-four skin cancer earlier this month.

Alter stepped into the acting world with 1976 action thriller Charas. He played the role of an intelligence officer in search of a group of smugglers. The film saw him share screen space with industry veteran and superstar of that time, Dharmendra. He then went on to work with Satyajit Ray in the legendary filmmaker’s 1977 movie Shatranj Ke Khilari, where he portrayed the personal secretary to General James Outram (Richard Attenborough).

South director Mysore Shrinivas Sathyu also cast him as British Superintendent of police in Kannada film Kanneshwara Rama. Though the Hindi films did not have many versatile roles to offer him, TV had been a place where Alter got opportunities to try something different.

Who can forget the red robe Mahaguru in Shaktimaan? The Mukesh Khanna-starrer superhero TV series showed Alter in a completely different avatar. His Keshav Kalsi aka KK from long-running Junoon and Samuel, a school teacher, in Yahan Ke Hum Sikandar were some other popular characters. The recipient of Padma Shri, Alter, even played Indian scholar and the senior Muslim leader of the Indian National Congress, Abdul Kalam Azad, in filmmaker Shyam Benegal’s TV mini-series Samvidhaan: The Making of the Constitution of India in 2014.

Alter, who did schooling from Woodstock in Landor, enrolled into India’s prestigious film school Film and Television Institute of India, where he, alongside Naseeruddin Shah, learned the nuances of acting. The duo even formed a theatre group named Motley Productions along with Benjamin Gilani. They performed their first play 'Waiting for Godot' at Mumbai’s Prithvi Theatre in 1979.

Alter’s other notable works included Des Pardes, Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, Parinda, Aashiqui, Captain Vyom and Veer-Zaara. He is survived by his wife Carol and his children Jamie and Afshaan.


(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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