Padma Shri Tom Alter was a renowned actor, one-time sports writer and author. He was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar on TV. Tom died of skin cancer.
Tom Alter made his big screen debut in 1976 with a small role in Dharmendra-starrer ‘Charas’ but became a house hold name after his role in the hit TV series Zabaan Sambhalke (1993-1997), adaptation of British sitcom, Mind Your Language (1977).
Tom has acted in over 300 movies and numerous TV shows. He played the dreaded gangster Keshav Kalsi in the hit soap opera Junoon which ran for a record five years during the 1990s.
Tom Alter’s notable films – Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), Shyam Benega’s Junoon (1979), Manoj Kumar’s Kranti (1981), Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985), Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Parinda (1989) (played the gangster Musa).
Alter was seen in several films in the 90s too, and did several regional films as well – Bengali, Assamese, Telegu, Tamil and Kumaoni films.
Among his foreign films are Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, and One Night with the King, where he got the opportunity to act opposite his idol, the legendary Peter O’Toole.
While everybody remembers Tom alter as an actor, Alter also ventured into direction and was a sports journalist in the 80s and 90s.
Did you know that Tom was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar on Television when the cricketer was yet to debut for India?
Tom Alter interviewing young sachin tendulkar, first interview on television
Alter has also authored three books, one non-fiction and two fiction, and in 2008 was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government in recognition for his services to the field of arts and cinema.
Tom Alter was born in the hill station Mussoorie in Uttarakhand (in 1950), and was the son of American missionaries. He studied at Woodstock School in Mussoorie and later at Pune’s Film and Television Institute. Tom was last seen in the film Sargoshiyan (with Alok Nath and Farida Jalal).
Goodbye to you my trusted friend! 🙏🙏🙏! Actor Tom Alter, a Padma Shri awardee, dies of cancer at 67https://t.co/DkJkHZImO8
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) September 30, 2017
Watch: Guftagoo with Tom Alter