The 54-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in 2018
The international film industry lost a star today as actor Irrfan Khan took his last breath in Mumbai, India, at the age of 54. The actor had spent the last two years fighting a battle against cancer.
In 2018, the actor posted on Twitter to say that he was diagnosed with an endocrine tumour, a rare illness affecting cells that release hormones into the bloodstream, according to the BBC.
Born on January 7, 1966 in Jaipur, Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan went to the National School of Drama on a scholarship before moving to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting.
For more than 30 years, the Bollywood star entertained cinemagoers. He started his career from Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! in 1988 and Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1990) starring Shabana Azmi. He spent the following decade establishing himself as a versatile actor, starring in films such as The Warrior, Maqbool (based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth), Life in a metro, Nair’s film based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Wes Anderson’s Darjeeling Limited and A Mighty Heart, a film based on the Daniel Pearl case, starring Hollywood’s Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl.
Khan also starred in the Hollywood blockbuster Slumdog Millionaire (2008) starring Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor and Farida Pinto.
Khan was one of the only Bollywood actors who transitioned well into Hollywood. After starring in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Khan went on to secure roles in Life of Pi (2012), The Amazing Spider Man (2012), Jurassic Park (2015) and Inferno (2016). Khan’s last film Angrezi Medium (2020) was a sequel to his film, Hindi Medium (2017) which also starred Pakistani star Saba Qamar.
On Wednesday morning, there were rumours circulating online that the actor had passed away. His manager issued a statement and said that Khan had been admitted to the ICU because of a colon infection. Later, the actor’s team confirmed that he had passed away.
In a statement shared with the press, his manager said: “I trust, I have surrendered; these were the some of the many words that Irrfan expressed in a heartfelt 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.”
He added that it was “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”.
“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’.”
The actor is survived by his wife and two sons.