The Veteran actor, theatre personality and Padma Sri awardee Tom Alter passed away at 67 at his house in Mumbai after losing out on a battle with skin cancer. Tom was battling with stage 4 cancer and was admitted to Mumbai’s Saifee hospital two weeks ago. Tom Alter who had acted in more than 300 films, shot to fame with his very famous gangster character, Keshav Kalsi, in super-hit show ‘Junoon’.
Apart from acting and authoring books, Tom Alter was also a sports writer. He was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar before he made his debut in Indian Cricket team.
It was 1989, the time when the selectors were considering the 15-year-old Tendulkar ahead of India’s tour to West Indies, Alter got Sachin Tendulkar’s first video interview while he was practicing at the nets.
While speaking to TOI, Tom Alter shared his experience about the interview and also recalled how Dilip Vengsarkar introduced him to the teen sensation that was practicing with the Mumbai (then Bombay) team.
He said, “I clearly remember the interaction. It was his first video interview. I wouldn’t say he was naive, but rather innocent and soft spoken. Even though the little boy was shy in front of the camera, he was still very confident without being a show-off.”
One of the pieces from the interview which later became the talk of the town was when Tom Alter asked Sachin Tendulkar, if he was ready to go to West Indies and that he was not too young. To the question, the 15-year-old Sachin Tendulkar replied that it was the right time for him to play for the Indian Cricket team.
It was because of his diverse contributions in different fields that forced the government to award him with Padma Sri Title in 2008.
Tom Alter was born June 22, 1950 in the hill station of Mussoorie and was a third-generation American in India. Alter completed his education from Woodstock School in the Himalayas and then briefly at Yale University in the USA.
Watch the interview here: