He’s loved by millions in his country and beyond the borders of the second most populous country in the world. At just 53, Irrfan Khan has passed away unfortunately.
The actor was on admission at the ICU of Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital on Tuesday as a result of colon infection and earlier this morning (Wednesday, 29th 2020) an official statement confirming his death was made public.
“It’s saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away,” read the statement. “Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him.”
Khan is one of Bollywood most celebrated actor and those who knows him personally said he’s a man of integrity and modesty which is why the news of his death came as a big shock to the whole world especially his fans both in India as well as overseas.
According to the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, his demise is a big “loss to the world of cinema and theatre. He will be remembered for his versatile performances across different mediums. My thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers. May his soul rest in peace.”
Other Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan said his death ha left a “huge vacuum” and furthered by calling Khan “an incredible talent, a gracious colleague, a prolific contributor to the world of cinema … left us too soon,” tweeted Bachchan.
“The charisma you brought to everything you did was pure magic,” tweeted Priyanka Chopra. “Your talent forged the way for so many in so many avenues. You inspired so many of us. Irrfan Khan you will truly be missed. Condolences to the family.”
Irrhan Khan is also being described as a “versatile and talented actor” by Indian political figure, Rahul Gandhi and said he will be greatly missed. While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said India had lost “one of the most exceptional actors of our time.”
I met Irrfan Khan when he worked with @JacindaBarrett on The Namesake. One of the most pleasant, down to earth, and gentle beings in the few times I had with him. What a beautiful actor as well. Blessings to he and his family. #RIPIrrfanKhanhttps://t.co/R2CYNP6Sks
In d year 2000 a film directed by #IrrfanKhan named ALVIDA starred me & I ws lucky 2 hv my mentor as my co-star in many films. No 1 wil evr b able 2 fill his space in d entire world of cinema. Never thot in d worst of my dreams, dat wil hv 2 say “ALVIDA” so soon RIP #IrrfanKhan
Back in March 2018, Khan revealed to his fans that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, but after extensive treatment, he recovered well from the disease to the point that he shot the Angrezi Medium movie which would turn out to be his last while the release of the movie this March was further cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Outside India, Irrfan Khan is known as the police inspector in Slumdog Millionaire as well as his role in the movie Jurassic World and Life of Pi. He’s a big household name in the Bollywood industry with big hits such as Haider, Piku and Hindi Medium.
“I always object to the word Bollywood,” he told the Guardian in 2013. “I don’t think it’s fair to have that name. Because that industry has its own technique, its own way of making films that has nothing to do with aping Hollywood. It originates in Parsi theatre.”
A little about the late actor
Khan’s full name is Saahabzaade Irfan Ali Khan and was born in the year 1966 in Jaipur. As a young boy, Khan went to drama school after he had failed as a cricketer.
He struggled to make headway in the film industry despite being cast in small role as a letter writer in Mira Nair’s 1988 Salaam Bombay which to his frustration he only managed to find regular work in low-grade TV soap operas.
“I came into this industry to tell stories and do cinema and I was stuck in television,” he told the Guardian.
But Khan made his breakthrough in the industry due to his role that came from an unexpected source. British director Asif Kapadia, whose low budget samurai-esque tale, The Warrior was shot in India led to the rising of Khan into stardom when the movie was released in 2002.
The Warrior was selected for the prestigious San Sebastian film festival and won the Bafta award for best British film.
Khan subsequently broke into mainstream Indian films, often playing cops or villains – including the title role of Maqbool, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in the Mumbai underworld. More orthodox Bollywood productions followed, such as Rog and the slice-of-life musical Life in a … Metro.
Aside becoming an actor to reckon with, Khan also had a big success on big screens in both Britain and the US while playing chief of police in Mighty Heart and also another police role in Slumdog Millionaire which won eight Oscars. That can be said to be one of Khan’s biggest movies.
He would further become an important figure in even high budget Hollywood movies such as the Amazing Spiderman (2012) in which he played a Doctor as we playing a rich businessman in the 2015 blockbuster Jurassic World and then Inferno (2016).
In 2012, he also played the adult version of the lead character in another Oscar-winner: Life of Pi, directed by Ang Lee. Director Wes Anderson said he specifically wrote a small role for Khan in his film The Darjeeling Limited just so they could work together.
Even with Khan conquering the Wild West, he also found box-office success with the Indian-produced art film The Lunchbox in which he played an accountant who strikes up a letter-writing romance with an unhappy housewife Nimrat Kaur.
Khan also continued his high Bollywood profile with significant roles in the Amitabh Bachchan comedy Piku and Hindi Medium, as a rich businessman trying to get his daughter into a good school. His good works will forever be remembered in the history of both Bollywood and Hollywood as the entire world mourns the death of the great man.
Khan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan.