Om Puri earned his degree from the Film and Television Institute of India, the state acting school in Pune. He was also with Naseeruddin Shah in Graduation year 1973, the prestigious National School of Drama. He is one next to Shah, Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Smita Patil and the group of actors from the New Indian Cinema of the 1970s and 1980s, who saw themselves as actors and less than movie stars and became involved in more artistically ambitious film projects.
Om Puri was awarded in 1982 and 1984 respectively with a National Film Award for Best Actor in 1980 and received a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. In July 2004 he was awarded for his work in English-language films of the Order of the British Empire.