Thomas Beach Alter better known as Tom Alter was a noted theatre and film personality. An Indian actor of American descent he had enjoyed excellent command over both Hindi and Urdu languages. During his lifetime he did many memorable roles in films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gandhi, Kranti, Bose: The Forgotten Hero to name few. Sitcoms like Bharat Ek Khoj, Zabaan Sambhalke, The Great Maratha made him a household name.
Born in Mussoorie in 1950, Alter was son of American missionaries. He studied at Woodstock School in Mussoorie and later moved to Yale University in the USA, before returning to India in the early 70s. An alumni of prestigious Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, he also worked for some time as a sports journalist and was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV when the cricketer was yet to debut for India. Apart from acting he also wrote for several sporting journals and was a published author.
As an actor, he made his first big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer Charas. But he gained fame from Satyajit Ray's acclaimed movie Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Shyam Benega's Junoon. The blue-eyed actor was a hot choice for the role of the British officer in any film and television serious based on independence of India. He was liked for his role as East India Company officer in Manoj Kumar's magnum opus Kranti. During his lifetime he appeared in over 300 films and earned credits for his role in films like Aashiqui, Parinda, Sardar Patel and Gandhi. He will be also remembered for his contribution in the field of television serials.
As a television actor, he worked in serials like Junoon, Jugalbandi, Zabaan Sambhalke, Captain Vyom, Bharat EK Khoj, Ghutan, Shaktimaan etc. Most recently, he was seen in teleserial Rishton Ka Chakravyuh on Star Plus. Also a theatre personality his play In Ghalib In Delhi in which he played the role of Mirza Ghalib was extremely popular among audiences.
Tom Alter was honored with the Padma Shri in 2008 for his services to the field of arts and cinema.
Illness and Death
Suffering from skin cancer Tom Alter passed away at his residence in Mumbai. He was 67. He is survived by his wife Carol, son Jamie, and daughter Afshaan.
Many eminent personalities from the field of politics, entertainment, and sports mourned the death of Tom Alter.
President of India: Sad to hear of demise of veteran actor Tom Alter. He will be remembered by film lovers. Condolences to his family #PresidentKovind
PMO India: PM expressed grief on the demise of Shri Tom Alter and recalled his contribution to the film world and theatre. He extended condolences to the family & admirers of Shri Tom Alter.
Office of RG: Tom Alter ji's contribution to cinema & theatre is immense. Sad to know of his demise. The void left behind by him will be difficult to fill
Mahesh Bhatt: Goodbye to you my trusted friend! .! Actor Tom Alter, a Padma Shri awardee, dies of cancer at 67
Harsha Bhogle: The world is a good man short this morning. Fine actor, pure sports lover and kind human being. You enriched our world #TomAlter
Arjun Kapoor: RIP Tom Alter...have the fondest childhood memories of seeing him on zabaan sambhal ke...
Nimrat Kaur: Waking up to some tragic news about the passing away of Mr. Tom Alter. A one of a kind, grace personified, thorough gentleman. #RIPTomAlter
Spouse(s): Carol Evans
Children: Jamie(Son), Afshaan(Daughter)
Relatives: Martha Chen (Sister)
(FAN OF Mr. TOM ALTER)
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