New Delhi: Actor Irrfan Khan, who was battling neuroendocrine tumour, died on Wednesday in Mumbai. He was admitted to Kokilaben Hospital on Tuesday afternoon due to colon infection. He was 53. Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, who directed Irrfan in ‘Piku’, mourned his death on Twitter and with a heart-wrenching tweet and wrote, “My dear friend Irfaan. You fought and fought and fought. I will always be proud of you.. we shall meet again.. condolences to Sutapa and Babil.. you too fought, Sutapa you gave everything possible in this fight. Peace and Om shanti. Irfaan Khan salute.”
My dear friend Irfaan. You fought and fought and fought. I will always be proud of you.. we shall meet again.. condolences to Sutapa and Babil.. you too fought, Sutapa you gave everything possible in this fight. Peace and Om shanti. Irfaan Khan salute.
— Shoojit Sircar (@ShoojitSircar) April 29, 2020
Irrfan, as he would like people to call him, was Indian cinema’s one of the finest finds who made a mark globally with his acting prowess. He battled neuroendocrine tumour – a deadly rare form of cancer – for nearly two years. The powerhouse performer went to London for treatment.
Irrfan is survived by his wife Sutapa and two sons.
Born on January 7, 1966, in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Irrfan was born as Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan to a Muslim Pashtun family.
His mother late Saeda Begum (who died a few days ago) belonged to the Tonk Hakim family while his father and his father, the late Jagirdar Khan, was from the Khajuriya village near the Tonk district. Irrfan studied at the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD) in 1984.
After he moved to Mumbai, Irrfan was first seen in TV show ‘Chanakya’, ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, ‘Sara Jahan Hamara’, ‘Banegi Apni Baat’, ‘Chandrakanta’, ‘Shrikant’ on Doordarshan, ‘AnooGoonj’, ‘Star Bestsellers’ and ‘Sparsh’. He played Lenin in Doordarshan teleplay titled ‘Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode’. He was seen as an antagonist in TV show ‘Darr’.
He made his Bollywood debut with ‘Salaam Bombay!’ in 1988, and the film was also nominated for the Academy Awards that year.
Then it was in 2003-04 with films like ‘Haasil’ and ‘Maqbool’ that Irrfan got recognition for. In the meantime, he featured in several TV shows and series as well. However, it was in ‘Rog’ which released in 2005 that Irrfan bagged his first lead role.
The bundle of impeccable talent featured in a number of path-breaking movies. He worked in as many as 50 Hindi films and made a mark in the West.
Irrfan was honoured with several awards and accolades for his performances on-screen. He has been awarded the most prestigious National Film Award, Filmfare amongst many others. In 2011, Irrfan was given the Padma Shri, country’s fourth highest civilian honour for his contribution to the field of arts.
His act in and as ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ won a million hearts and he received the National Award for Best Actor and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. Also, his next ‘Lunchbox’ earned rave reviews across the globe. It was nominated for BAFTA Awards as well.
He has featured in films like ‘Haider’, ‘Gunday’, ‘Piku’ and ‘Talvar’ were noted by one and sundry. ‘Hindi Medium’, which released in 2017, became a sleeper hit in India and China, and ranks among highest-grossing Indian films of all time. He bagged the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for the movie.
In Hollywood, he did movies such as ‘The Warrior’, ‘The Namesake’, ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘New York, I Love You’, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, ‘Life of Pi’, ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Inferno’ to name a few.
He was last seen in the March release ‘Angrezi Medium’.