The Padma Shri actor Tom Alter, who was struggling with skin cancer, on Saturday passed away at the age of 67. Tom Alter, an Indian actor of American descent, was known as a writer, director and a theatre artist, who acted in almost 300 films. Tom Alter was awarded Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2008.

Alter’s family while informing about his sad demise in a statement said, “It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father”.

The Padma Shri actor was the son of American Christian missionaries of English and Scottish ancestry. Alter spent many years of his lfe living in Mumbai and the Himalayan hill station of Landour.

Being an Indian actor of American descent, Alter’s grandparents moved to India from Ohio, United States (US) in November 2016. They went to Lahore by train and settled there. Alter’s parents after the partition had moved to India while his grandparents stated there.

Tom Alter during his studying years, while he was learning Hindi in Mussoorie, was occasionally referred as ‘Blue-eyed saheb with impeccable Hindi’.

Facts about Tom Alter’s film and Television life

  • As the actor was known for his fluent Hindi, Urdu, Tom was associated with noted filmmakers like Satyajit Ray. He did ‘Shatranj Ke Khilari’ with Ray.
  • Being an actor of American dissent, Tom was known for his role as a British officer in ‘Kranti’.
  • Alter played Lord Mountbatten of Burma in 1993 movie ‘Sarda’ based on Indian leader Sardar Patel.
  • Tom also stepped into Hollywood and worked in films like One Night with the King with Peter O’Toole.
  • Tom also worked in an Assamese film ‘Adajya’ and took part in theatrical reproduction of William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns alongside Zohra Sehgal and Manish Joshi Bismil in 2007.
  • Tom had also acted in Bollywood movie, ‘Bheja Fry’ a comedy movie, in which he played the role of doctor with noted and talented actor Vinay Pathak and Rajat Kapoor.
  • Tom Alter also finnish his art of acting in short films like Yours, Maria directed by Chirag Vadgama. He played the lead role of Matthew Chacha in the movie.
  • Tom also tried with voice over and gave his voice for ‘The Man Who Made The Elephant Dance’, autobiography of Dr. Verghese Kurien. It was released in 2012.
  • Tom Alter acted in famous comedy serial ‘Zabaan Sambhalke’. He played the role of a Charles Spencers, a British writer who lives in India and wants to learn Hindi language.
  • Tom Alter was also the part of TV serial ‘Sanvidhaan’ and was lauded for his performance.
  • Tom Alter worked ‘Khamosh Sa Afsana’ (as a Husain Baba), a TV series aired on Doordarshan in 2014-15.
  • Alter also played the red robe guru in Mukesh Khanna’s TV production Shaktiman (1998–2002).
  • Tom Alter was also in ‘Junoon’, as the sadistic mob lord Keshav Kalsi.