Irrfan Khan, Star of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Life of Pi,’ Dies at 53
Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan passes away at 53. The news of Irrfan Khan’s desmise comes in exactly 4 days after his mother Sayeeda Begum’s death. Reportedly the actor remembered his mother right before dying. “Amma has come to take me,” was reportedly Irrfan Khan’s last words. Irrfan passed away at 11.11 AM at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday, 29th April 2020
Irrfan Khan could not attend his mother’s burial in Jaipur beause he was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital with a colon infection. Irrfan Khan was battling with a rare form of cancer. He who was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018 and spent several months in London undergoing treatment.
On March 5, 2018 at 3.36 PM, he took to Twitter to let his followers know of his diagnosis
— Irrfan (@irrfank) March 5, 2018
Upon his diagnoses, Irrfan Khan’s wife too took to social media to share the news.
Irrfan Khan and Sutapa Sikdar got married on February 23, 1995, completing 25 years of marriage this year in Feb 2020. In all these years they’ve endured several highs and lows, both professionally and personally. Irrfan had a slew of not-so-successful Bollywood films before Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool (2003) and Mira Nair’s The Namesake (2006) turned things around for him. Sutapa is a film dialogue writer herself, with films like Khamoshi, Shabd and Kahaani to her credit. She later turned producer with Madaari (2016) and Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017), both starring Irrfan in the lead.
Irrfan Khan whose films include “The Namesake,” “Life of Pi” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” was comfortable in both mainstream and art-house roles. He also appeared in blockbusters like “Jurassic World” (2015) and the screen adaptation of Dan Brown’s “Inferno” (2016). He first gained the notice of international audiences in the BAFTA-winning film “The Warrior” (2001), in which he had the lead role of a renegade warrior in feudal India.
In India, he was best known for his performances in “Maqbool,” “Haasil,” “Paan Singh Tomar,” “Piku,” “The Lunchbox” and “Hindi Medium.”
The actor was last seen in ‘Angrezi Medium’ with Radhika Madan and Kareena Kapoor Khan, which hit the screens days before the lockdown was announced. His innocent portrayal of a father willing to go against all odds for his daughter was much lauded by fans. Due to the lockdown, ‘Angrezi Medium’ stopped playing in theaters and was later released on an OTT platform.
Irrfan Khan’s Hindi Medium co-star, Pakistani actress Saba Qamar paid her last tribute to the actor. Mourning his demise, the Pakistani actress wrote, “Deeply disturbed to hear about the passing of Irrfan Khan. It feels like yesterday coming back from the sets of Hindi Medium. You taught me a lot as an actor and a mentor. Such a brilliant actor gone too soon. I”m at a loss for words. RIP Raj Yours Only, Meeta,”
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Deeply disturbed to hear about the passing of Irrfan Khan. I still can’t absorb the news. It feels like yesterday coming back from the sets of Hindi Medium. You taught me a lot as an actor and a mentor. It is indeed a huge loss to the cinema world. Such a brilliant actor gone too soon. You left a huge irreplaceable void in Cinema Irfan. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May Allah give them strength to bear this loss. RIP Raj 💔 Yours Only, Meeta. 🌸
Pakistani Actor Adnan Siddiqui, who shared the screen with Irrfan Khan in A Mighty Heart also expressed his greif on his Instagram.
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“Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un”….. “Verily we belong to God, and verily to Him do we return.”! . . . Disturbed and gutted!! A fine soul gone too soon. I had the honour of first meeting Irrfan as a co-star on the sets of ‘A Mighty Heart.’ For one of the scenes after learning his lines I saw him doing the scene again and again which left me puzzled. I asked him, Irrfan Sahab ye kya kar rahe hain aap? He replied- We’re both playing CID agents which means we’ll be showing our ID cards everywhere. I’m practicising the scene so I don’t look clumsy while showing the ID card. And that was the first time I realised what a fine actor he was. We’d become friends on the sets and used to hang out together after the shoot. I remember for another scene, he wanted to know a word in Urdu used commonly in Pakistan and he asked me. He was a great actor but didn’t shy away from learning and perfecting his art. One of the evenings, he shared an incident where him and his friend got the role of an extra actor in James Bond series “Octopussy” which was shot in India. But because they cycled to the set, they were late and the shoot was over. He told me since then he wanted to do a Hollywood movie. Our careers in Hollywood started together, but he proved his mettle and conquered the fort. In 2018 while attending IPPA in London. I found out that he was in London, though he wasn’t meeting anyone he agreed to meet me. We had a long chat about movies and world in general. He looked so positive. His last words were- “Adnan, I’ll be fine very soon and I’ll be back. InshAllah”! Who knew today, I would be penning this note. Condolences and strength to his family. Irrfan, you will be missed a lot. Rest in peace my friend.🙏
Irrfan Khan was born Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan on Jan. 7 1967, one of four children of Saeeda Begum and Yaseen Khan, a middle-class couple in the northern state of Rajasthan. He described his childhood as a happy one of kite flying, cricket playing and hunting trips with his father.
Irrfan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar and two sons, Babil and Ayan. Irrfan’s sons Babil and Ayan performed his last rites at 3 pm on Wednesday 29 April 2020. Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia carried the late actor’s mortal remains to the cemetery in Versova, where Irrfan was buried.