Om Rajesh Puri (born 18 October 1950) is an Indian actor who has appeared in mainstream commercial Indian and Britishfilms, Independent films and art films. His credits also include appearances in American films. He has been awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India. Om Puri was born in Patiala, Punjab, to a Khatri family and is a Hindu by religion. His father worked in the railways and in the Indian Army. Puri graduated from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune . He is also an alumnus of the 1973 class of National School of Drama where Naseeruddin Shah was a co-student. Puri has worked in numerous Indian films and in many films produced in the United Kingdom and the United States. He made his film debut in the 1976 Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal, based on a Marathi play of the same name. This Marathi film was directed by K. Hariharan and Mani Kaul in cooperation with 16 graduates of the FTII and was based on the play of the same name by Vijay Tendulkar. He has claimed that he was paid "peanuts" for his best work. Along with Amrish Puri,Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmiand Smita Patil, he was among the main actors who starred in what was then referred to as [art film] such as Bhavni Bhavai (1980), Sadgati (1981), Ardh Satya (1982), Mirch Masala (1986) and Dharavi (1992).