Obituaries

Tom Alter, 67, blue-eyed star of Bollywood films

Mr. Alter, of American descent, spent his career in Bollywood portraying Westeners.

Manish Swarup/Associated Press/File 2007

Mr. Alter, of American descent, spent his career in Bollywood portraying Westeners.

NEW YORK — Tom Alter, an Indian-born character actor of American descent who spent his career playing Westerners in Bollywood films, died Sept. 29 at his home in Mumbai. He was 67.

His daughter, Afshaan Alter Burtram, said the cause was skin cancer.

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With light skin, blue eyes and blond hair, which later turned bright white, Mr. Alter was an incongruous figure in Bollywood. But he spoke Hindi and Urdu fluently, making him a natural fit for roles like slick diplomats, British colonials, priests and police officers.

He appeared in more than 300 films and a handful of television shows and plays, including Lord Mountbatten in “Sardar,” a 1993 film about Sardar Patel, the freedom fighter who unified India.

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