Irrfan Khan died on Wednesday at a Mumbai hospital where he was hospitalized for colon infection. Since 2018, the 53-year-old actor has been fighting cancer and his official spokesman announced on Tuesday that he was under observation from the doctor. Irrfan has survived by his wife Sutapa and his sons Babil and Ayan. Remembering the actor, filmmaker Shoojit Sircar penned a note of condolence.
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
In the prestigious National Drama School of India Irrfan Khan was trained as a theater actor. And then struggle to work as an actor on TV.
His first big break was in the movie The Warrior (2001) by British Indian filmmaker Asif Kapadia. The Bafta-winning film was shown in theaters with the approval of late filmmaker Anthony Minghella.
Through 2007 Irrfan had already become a success in the Hindi film industry in Bollywood, India. He didn’t have to take on projects outside India, but as a performer, he always looked for new challenges to meet.
His big break came the next year-Slumdog Millionaire, the surprise hit movie by Danny Boyle.
Slumdog made their young leads overnight stars-Freida Pinto and Dev Patel. But the doors for Irrfan are also opened. He managed to get an agent and a manager in the United States and there was no look back.
He soon landed big-ticket projects-The The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), though a small one, Inferno (2016), and even Jurassic World (2015).
A mainstay of Bollywood cinema and incredible talent in films like “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Life of Pi” and “The Namesake,” Irrfan Khan left his imprint on global cinema. An inspiration to millions, he will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/o21DMMC2o5
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) April 29, 2020
There’s a story Irrfan told to the media when promoting the Jurassic World. Irrfan was a struggling TV actor in Bombay (now Mumbai) when the original Jurassic Park opened in 1993. He couldn’t afford to buy a ticket to see the movie.
Twenty-two years later, he played a crucial role in a franchise film that earned $1.7 billion (£1.4 billion) worldwide. Immediately, Irrfan became the most popular Indian actor to star in a Hollywood movie.
But despite other major projects in the West-he played an important role in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (2012)-Irrfan had to make difficult choices, whether to embrace big Hollywood movies or work on smaller yet prestigious ones in India.
Irrfan was a strong man, someone who was fighting until the very end and always inspired all those around him. Since he got the news of rare cancer in 2018, he was struck by lightning and immediately returned to life and fought several battles with it. He left for heaven, surrounded by his love, his family, for which he cared the most, leaving behind his own legacy. We all hope and pray that he will be at peace.
— Sudarsan Pattnaik (@sudarsansand) April 29, 2020
The last film by Irrfan Khan was ‘Angrezi Medium’ which hit the screens days before the announcement of the lockdown. Fans praised his innocent depiction of a father willing to go against all odds for his daughter. ‘Angrezi Medium’ stopped playing in theatres because of the lockout and was later released on an OTT platform.
The world had just opened up for Irrfan and he was in his early fifties. There had been so many opportunities to fill, so many more roles. Luckily, he’s left behind a massive treasure chest of movies his fans will enjoy.
Irrfan Khan WILL BE MISSED AND REMEMBERED FOREVER.