Mumbai’s Bollywood industry today on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, is saddened by the passing away of one of its most multi-faceted and talented actors, Irrfan Khan. He is survived by his wife Sutapa Sikdar and sons Babil Khan and Ayan Khan. As all of India mourns, the untimely passing away of this great actor, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi too expressed his grief in a statement saying, “a 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.”
On Tuesday 28th, he was rushed to the intensive care unit of the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai on account of a colon infection where he later passed away surrounded by close family and friends.
In 2018, Irrfan Khan was diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine cancer and had to undergo treatment in the United Kingdom. To announce his health condition to his fans then, he Tweeted, “I trust, I have surrendered ….The unexpected makes us grow, which is what the past few days have been about. Learning that I have been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me, and that I found within me, have brought me to a place of hope. The journey of this is taking me out of the country, and I request everyone to continue sending their wishes. As for the rumours that were floated NEURO is not always about the brain and googling is the easiest way to do research 😉 To those who waited for my words, I hope to be back with more stories to tell.”
Yes, and he did return to tell another story ‘Angrezi Medium’ which was released in March 2020, which incidentally also become his very last.
Born as Saahabzaade Irfan Ali Khan in Jaipur, India on January 7, 1966, he pursued acting after he failed as a cricketer. His first film in 1988 was the Academy Award nominated film ‘Salaam Mumbai’ but his small role as a writer failed to draw attention to his talent. So, he continued to act in serials on television until he got another break in films in the movie ‘The Warrior’. The movie released in 2002, made by British director Asif Kapadia was selected for the prestigious San Sebastian film festival and won the Bafta Award for best British film. This earned Irrfan Khan an indirect entry into Bollywood.
Since then there was no looking back. He acted in Hindi cinema, British films and Hollywood. Some of his most commendable films include Haasil (2003), Maqbool (2004), Life in a …Metro (2007), Paan Singh Tomar (2011), The Lunchbox (2013), Piku (2015) and Hindi Medium (2017). He also acted in Hollywood big films like Jurassic World, Inferno, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Namesake, Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi.
His natural style of acting and brilliant performances won him numerous awards. He won,
- Best actor in negative role for Haasil in 2004 at the Filmfare Awards.
- Best Performance in a negative Role for Maqbool (2004) at Screen Awards.
- 2007, at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists as Best Seduction role in the movie ‘The Namesake’.
- 2008, for Life in a…Metro he won the Filmfare Awards as Best Supporting Actor, the Indian International Film Academy Awards as Best Supporting Actor, and the Screen Awards as Best Comedian.
- For Slum Dog Millionaire in 2009, he won awards from the Screen Actors Guild Awards and from the Central Ohio Film Critics Association.
- 2011, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour for his contribution to the field of arts.
- 2012, he was awarded the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year.
- 2012, he received the National Film Award as Best Actor for the movie Paan Singh Tomar.
- 2014, at the International Film Festival of Queensland he wold Best Actor for Qissa.
- 2016 he won the Best Actor at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne for his role in the movie Piku.
- 2018 the movie Hindi Medium won him the title of Best Actor at the News 18 Reel Movie Awards and also at the International Indian Film Academy Awards.
And the list would go on and on, if the heartbeats allowed….
While Irrfan Khan, the family man, the hero, the actor, will continue to live on in films, you will be missed by numerous fans worldwide.