Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Mola Ram has died

Amrish Puri, the actor best known to western audiences as Indiana Jones's nemesis in Temple of Doom, died today at a Mumbai (formerly Bombay) hospital after a long illness. He was 72.

Puri acted in more than 200 films and was one of the best loved baddies in Hindi cinema, frequently playing crime bosses or inflexible fathers preventing the heroine from marrying her true love.

Born in 1932, his career took off when he was in his late thirties with Reshma aur Shera (Reshma and Shera), a love story set in the Rajasthan desert. He was most famous for playing gang leader Mogambo in the 1989 movie Mr India.

Puri also featured in Hollywood films: he was in Gandhi but is probably best remembered as Mola Ram, the shaven-headed murderous cult leader in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. He kept the minimalist hairstyle thereafter...