“Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him,” his publicist said in a statement.
After extensive treatment for the past two years, Khan was able to shoot for his final film, Angrezi Medium. In March 2018, he revealed he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor and since then he has kept his fans as he revealed about his illness via his Twitter handle:
— Irrfan (@irrfank) March 5, 2018
The actor had spent several months last year in the United Kingdom undergoing cancer treatment.
His family issued an official statement, “I trust, I have surrendered”; These were 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. It’s 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. After having been struck by lightning in 2018 with the news of rare cancer, he took life soon after as it came and he fought the many battles that came with it. Surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about, he left for heavenly 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 “Piku” star is one of the most versatile and respected actors of the Indian Film Industry. Starting from humble beginnings, his is the story that many people resonated with as he was the son of a tire seller, and went to drama school after failing as a cricketer. Irrfan Khan did not have any links in the film industry, failed to impress in numerous auditions, and struggled to earn a good part in movies even after eventually giving a stellar performance in Mira Nair’s 1988 Salaam Bombay.
Irrfan Khan despite his talent had to resort to small roles on the television but in 2002 his breakthrough role came with Asif Kapadia’s “The Warrior” which was shot in India. But the film that really propelled him to major star actor fame was 2004’s “Maqbool”. He received his first National Award for playing the lead character in 2012’s “Paan Singh Tomar”.
In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor. In a career spanning over 30 years and featuring in more than 50 domestic films, Khan received numerous awards, including a National Film Award and Filmfare Awards.
Irrfan Khan’s mother Saeeda Begum died at the age of 95 on Saturday morning in Jaipur. According to news agency ANI, Irrfan, who couldn’t travel from Mumbai due to the coronavirus lockdown, paid his last respects to his late mother through a video conferencing session.
Many celebrities offered their respect to the actor that had hailed the industry for the past decade.
Prime Minister of India and Opposition leaders were amongst the many to pay their respect to the late actor.
Irrfan Khan’s demise is 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.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 29, 2020
I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Irrfan Khan. A versatile & talented actor, he was a popular Indian brand ambassador on the global film & tv stage. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family, friends & fans at this time of grief.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 29, 2020
Too soon to leave @irrfank Ji. Your work always left me in awe. You’re one of the finest actors I know, I wish you stayed longer. You deserved more time. Strength to the family at this time.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) April 29, 2020
Kamal Hassan shared a happy memory while grieving his friend.
Deeply saddened to learn that #Irffan Khan passed away this morning. Gone too soon .. such a powerful actor and how valiantly he fought back the cancer. Its a big loss not only to his family but to the entire film industry. RIP
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) April 29, 2020
Superstar Amitabh Bachan also shared his disbelief at the shocking news.
T 3516 – .. just getting news of the passing of Irfaan Khan .. this is a most disturbing and sad news .. 🙏
An incredible talent .. a gracious colleague .. a prolific contributor to the World of Cinema .. left us too soon .. creating a huge vacuum ..
Prayers and duas 🙏
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) April 29, 2020
Young actors like Kartik Aaryan also grieved the loss
My first ever acting was in a workshop for my first film where all I had to do was try to recreate a scene of Irrfan sir from Maqbool. And I failed. I keep trying that scene often. And I fail.
First face that comes to mind when we think Actor.
💔 #IrrfanKhan Sir RIP pic.twitter.com/TRs8sXWSHt
— Kartik Aaryan (@TheAaryanKartik) April 29, 2020
Pakistani Actress, Saba Qamar also paid a tribute to her late co-star in an Instagram post:
View this post on Instagram
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. 🌸
Irrfan Khan was not only an acclaimed artist in India but his fame was global with appearances in films like Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Khan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan.