Los Angeles: Indian actor Om Puri, whose repertoire as an actor reflected a rare realism and was popular for films like “East Is East”, “Gandhi”, “City of Joy” and “Wolf”, was honoured at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony here in the “In Memoriam” montage.
Om Puri, who died after a heart attack in Mumbai, India in January earlier this year, 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.
Om Puri was remembered at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Dolby Theatre here on Sunday.
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.
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.