Actor Irrfan Khan, who worked in critically and commercially acclaimed films in several languages, has passed away at the age of 54. He is survived by his wife and two children. He was suffering from neuroendocrine tumour.
Irrfan, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2011, was active in TV, films and theatre works for close to 25 years. He started his acting career in films with Mira Nair’s widely praised film Salaam Bombay as a letter writer for hire. But it was just the beginning of the supernova of talent he would become in the coming years.
One of the finest, probably the best, actor the Hindi film industry has seen in recent years, Irrfan went through his share of struggles. In the 90s, he appeared in films such as Ek Doctor Ki Maut and Bada Din, but his moment in the limelight came with Indo-British production The Warrior. The film became a favourite at film festivals and people started asking for his other works.
Meanwhile, the Hindi television audiences in India were pretty familiar with his versatility. Thanks to shows like Chandrakanta, Banegi Apni Baat and Star Bestsellers, he made a particular space for himself. Later, he hosted a very successful supernatural-based show Mano Ya Naa Mano.
In between release director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Haasil (2003), in which he played an Allahabad based student leader, who didn’t have any qualms in using violence to fulfil desires. This film changed the landscape for him as he was seen as a potential crowd-puller. He received various awards for his performance as mob leader Ranvijay Singh.
He soon acted in films like Maqbool, Aan, Road To Ladakh and Rog, and established that it would be a mistake to ignore his range. Filmmakers also didn’t waste any chance in cashing in on this actor who was not scared of experiments.
As a result, films such as A Mighty Heart, Life In A Metro, The Namesake, The Darjeeling Limited, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Slumdog Millionaire and Saat Khoon Maaf happened and he found a separate fan base.
With multiple-award winning Paan Singh Tomar, he broke new grounds and looked ready for ultimate challenges.
In recent years, he featured in acclaimed films like Hindi Medium and Qarib Qarib Single. He was last seen in Angrezi Medium, which is still running in cinema halls.