Tom Alter (born 1950) is an Indian actor of American origin. As a thespian and television actor, he is most prominently known for his work in Bollywood.
In 2008, he was awarded Padma Shri by the Indian government.
A native of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India, Tom Alter is the son of American Christian missionaries of English and Scottish ancestry and has lived for years in Mumbai and the Himalayan hill station of Landour. His father was born in Sialkot. His elder sister Martha has a PhD in Sanskrit and his brother John is a poet and a teacher.
As a child, he studied Hindi and Urdu and, consequently, he has occasionally been referred to as the "Blue-eyed saheb with the impeccable Hindi."
He studied at the Film and Television Institute of India. His major inspiration to enter films was Rajesh Khanna. He confessed in an interview “I still dream of being Rajesh Khanna. For me, in the early 1970s, he was the only hero — romantic to the core, not larger than life, so Indian and real — he was my hero; the reason I came into films and he still is.
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