You can take a man away from his country, but you can never take away the man’s love for his nation. Such was the case with actor, Tom Alter who went to study at the internationally renowned, Yale University. But came back to his nation, India, to work and help the country with its growth. He was born and brought up in India by his missionary parents who moved their home from the USA in order to serve in the country. Alter was always asked about his nationality just because he lacked the conventional looks of an Indian and each time with pride he would reply that he was no less Indian than anyone else who were born in the country. Tom watched Aradhana where Rajesh Khanna played the lead. He was blown away and that’s when his tryst with Bollywood started. He gave up his career as a teacher to pursue a career in Bollywood. Alter graduated from FTI along with fine actors like Naseerudin Shah and then there was no looking back for him. We give you a list his finest performances.
Alter played the role of Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India in this Paresh Rawal starrer. Even with Rawal’s fine performance Tom’s role wasn’t unnoticed.
2. Ram Teri Ganga Maili
Alter was generally given the roles of either a British officer or doctor in the movies. This was his first role as an Indian, where he played the part of Mandakini’s elder brother.
Tom played the role of a British hostel warden, who would not let the two lovers meet. The audience loathed the character and it was Tom’s moment of glory as it just showed how true he was to his role.
Being a part of a doctor in this biopic changed Tom’s life as an actor, it brought him on the radar of the audience and filmmakers. The part played by him wasn’t big enough, but being a part of a reputable project like this one did change the game.
5. Shatranj Ke Khiladi
This was a dream project of none other than Satyajit Ray. The maestro casted Tom as a British officer in the film, which was actually adapted from a short story written by Munshi Premchand.
Junoon was one of the hit serials in Doordarshan, where Tom played the role of the villain.
Every kid from the 90’s would remember Guruji, who was Shaktimaan’s guru and guide. The role was played by Tom and he played it with utmost finesse.
We remember this great Film and Theatre personality with fondness and respect. Rest in peace sir!