Tom Alter, 1950 to 2017: A life in pictures

 | Updated: Sep 30, 2017, 10:13 AM IST
Alter, who died Friday night, acted in over 300 movies. He was also the first sports journalist to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV

Farewell, old friend

Veteran actor Tom Alter died in Mumbai Friday night. Alter, who was 67, had been suffering from skin cancer.

A man of many parts

Alter acted in over 300 movies and numerous television shows.

The first journo to interview Sachin for TV

He had also had a stint as a sports journalist and was the first person to interview Sachin Tendulkar for TV. Sachin was 16 at the time and had not yet debuted for India.

An American-origin cricketer

Despite his love of cricket, Alter was of American parentage. His parents were Christian missionaries.

Yale, interrupted

Alter was born in 1950 in Mussoorie where he went to school at Woodstock. He attended Yale University briefly. He left after a year, reportedly because he did not like the academic rigour.

A teacher, and not only of cricket

His first job was that of a teacher at the St Thomas School in Jagadhri, Haryana. Obviously, he also coached the school cricket team.


It was Aradhana, the Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore starrer, that reportedly prompted Alter to start studying (in 1972) at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune.

A shatranj ka khiladi

His first Hindi movie was Ramanand Sagar's Charas (1976). Alter's many other movies included Satyajit Ray's Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977), Shyam Benegal's Junoon (1979), and Raj Kapoor's Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985).

A villain, but only in reel life

His TV shows included the long-running (5 years, 510 episodes) Junoon in which he played the mob boss Keshav Kalsi, and the delightful Bharat ek Khoj. Bharat ek... was written and directed by Shyam Benegal and based on the book by Jawaharal Nehru -- A Discovery of India.

Thank you, for your many services

Alter also did theatre and tried his hand at directing. He was given the Padma Shri in 2008 for his contribution to the world of film. In photo: Alter as the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in a recent play.