Acclaimed Bollywood Actor Irrfan Khan passed away this afternoon at the age of just 53. Yesterday, he was admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital where he was under observation for colon infection. He was the recognised all around the world for his impressive work as he was Indian cinema’s face in West.
In 2018, he dropped a bombshell that he was suffering from a very rare type of neuroendocrine tumour.
‘I trust, I have surrendered,’” were the words with which his family confirmed his death, while adding, “ These were the some of the many words that Irrfan expressed in a heart felt note he wrote in 2018 opening up about his fight with cancer. And a man of few words and an actor of silent expressions with his deep eyes and his memorable actions on screen. It’s saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away. Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him. After having been struck by lightning in 2018 with the news of a rare cancer, he took life soon after as it came and he fought the many battles that came with it. Surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about, he left for heaven abode, leaving behind truly a legacy of his own. We all pray and hope that he is at peace. And to resonate and part with his words he had said, ‘As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it’.”
He was born in a Muslim family in the village of Tonk near Jaipur. Irrfan’s mother had a royal lineage but his father was a self-made man. Eldest of three siblings, Irrfan joined National School of Drama after his father’s death. Ironically, his mother, Saeeda Begum, died a few days before his death.
Mira Nair spotted this bright talent and casted him in Salaam Bombay in 1988. The two went on to collaborate again in the critically acclaimed The Namesake in 2006 and for the director’s segment in New York, I Love You.
He did television for various years in the 80’s and got his first major breakthrough in Aasif Kapadia’s The Warrior. From then on his filming career took off and he gave masterful performances in many famous films as the lead actor both in India and abroad.
Danny Boyle called his Slumdog Millionaire performance “beautiful to watch”, while the celebrated critic Roger Ebert noted his ‘subtle, engrossing work’ in The Namesake. He delivered memorable performances in films such as The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, The Mighty Heart and Jurassic World.
His last film was Angrezi Medium, ahead of which the actor had shared an empowering video message for his fans, stating that the only choice he had was to remain positive. “One doesn’t have any other choice but to remain positive. Whether you are able to make lemonade in such situations is entirely up to you. We’ve made this film with the same sort of positivity. I hope this film is able to make you laugh and cry in equal measure.”