You Are The Best We Have: Bollywood Pays Tribute To Irrfan Khan

By SM.29 Apr, 2020




Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan died at the age of 53 in Mumbai"s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on Wednesday, after battling tumour for several months.

The film fraternity paid tribute to the late actor on Twitter. Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan, who co-starred with Irrfan Khan in the 2015 film Piku, wrote: "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
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 🙏


Shah Rukh Khan✔@iamsrk
My friend...inspiration & the greatest actor of our times. Allah bless your soul Irrfan bhai...will miss you as much as cherish the fact that you were part of our lives.
“पैमाना कहे है कोई, मैखाना कहे है दुनिया तेरी आँखों को भी, क्या क्या ना कहे है” Love u


In his eulogy piece, Akshay Kumar addressed the Namesake star as "one of the finest actors of our time."

Akshay Kumar✔@akshaykumar
Such terrible news...saddened to hear about the demise of #IrrfanKhan, one of the finest actors of our time. May God give strength to his family in this difficult time 🙏🏻


Ajay Devgn✔@ajaydevgn
Heartbroken to hear about Irrfan’s untimely demise. It’s an irreparable loss for Indian cinema. Deepest condolences to his wife & sons. RIP Irrfan.


"My heart goes out to the family, may you find strength in this time," read an excerpt from Kajol"s tweet.
Saddened to hear of the passing of Irfaan Khan. My heart goes out to the family, may you find strength in this time. Rest in peace
Kajol (@itsKajolD) April 29, 2020


Sonam K Ahuja✔@sonamakapoor
Rest in peace @irrfank you have no idea what your kindness meant to me at a time I was at my least confident . My condolences to your family and loved ones.


Taapsee Pannu, in her eulogy piece wrote: "When we thought nothing could make us feel worse, this happened. I think I will refuse to believe you are no more by watching all your work time and again. I have known you that way and shall continue to know you that way for ever. You ARE the best we have."

taapsee pann✔@taapsee
When we thought nothing could make us feel worse,this happened. I think I will refuse to believe you are no more by watching all your work time n again n again n again. I have known you that way n shall continue to know you that way for ever. You ARE the best we have #IrrfanKhan


Azmi Shabana✔@AzmiShabana
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

Parineeti Chopra✔@ParineetiChopra
Irrfan sir, you were the nicest, coolest guy. Every interaction with you was so memorable. The world has lost the most talented actor, the nicest human being and a real fighter!! All my love and strength to the family 💙 #RIP #IrrfanKhan


Farhan Akhtar✔@FarOutAkhtar
#IrrfanKhan was truly a one of a kind actor and the magic he brought to the screen will be sorely missed. RIP. #gonetosoon


Riteish Deshmukh✔@Riteishd
Our loss, heaven’s gain. #IrrfanKhan #RIP Thank you for all the magic you weaved on celluloid. Condolences to the family and loved ones.


Padmini Kolhaapure✔@padminikolhapure
Oh my God ! Oh my God ! Shocked ! Too sudden ! RIP 🙏 ..pray for strength to his family and near and dear ones 🙏 great actor #irrfankhan you will be missed 🙏


Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri: Oh my dear friend @irrfank, why? I was waiting for your best take. But you fought like a real hero. My prayers for Sutapa and family. Rest in peace, my friend.

Nimrat Kaur✔@NimratOfficial
Words fail to describe my sense of shock and horror to learn about Irrfan Khan’s passing away. My prayers and deepest condolences are with the family at this grave hour. India’s lost one of her biggest icons today. Our world left for the poorer... #IrrfanKhan #Forever


THANKYOU for giving us the greatest cinema sir. I will always cherish my 3 days of working with you during suit suit and Patola song. Got my entry to Bollywood with you sir. Learnt too much from you sir.
May God bless your soul sir.
R.I.P sir @irrfan
Love you always ❤️❤️


Sophie C✔@Sophie_Choudry
Such heartbreaking news💔
An incredible artist with an iconic legacy of work. Fortunate to have met and Interviewed him a few times.
May u RIP Irrfan sir. You were a true “warrior” & will live on forever in people’s hearts. Strength & prayers to the family 🙏🏼 #IrrfanKhan



M A L L I K A D U A✔@mallikadua





Khan was born in Rajasthan to a Muslim family. Khan"s mother, Begum Khan and his father, the late Jagirdar Khan, were from the Khajuriya village near the Tonk district and ran a tire business. Irrfan and his best friend Satish Sharma were good at cricket and later, Irrfan was selected for the CK Nayudu Tournament for emerging players under 23 years as a stepping stone to first-class cricket in India. However, he could not turn up for the tournament owing to lack of funds.

Khan was studying for his MA degree when he earned a scholarship to study at National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi in 1984.

Khan moved to Mumbai, where he acted in numerous television serials, including Chanakya, Bharat Ek Khoj, Sara Jahan Hamara, Banegi Apni Baat, Chandrakanta, Shrikant (Doordarshan), AnooGoonj on Doordarshan, Star Bestsellers (Star Plus), and Sparsh. Earlier, he had acted in a teleplay on Doordarshan named Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode where he played Lenin. It was based on a translation by Uday Prakash of a Russian play by Mikhail Shatrov. He was the main villain in a series called Darr (which aired on Star Plus), where he played the role of a psycho serial killer, opposite Kay Kay Menon. He also played the role of famous revolutionary Urdu poet and Marxist political activist of India Makhdoom Mohiuddin in Kahkashan, produced by Ali Sardar Jafri. He acted in some of the episodes of Star Bestsellers (aired on Star-Plus). In one of the episodes ("Ek Sham Ki Mulakat"), his role was of a parchoon shopkeeper who has a misconception that his landlord"s wife is trying to seduce him and it turns out that his own wife (Tisca Chopra) is cheating on him. In the other one, he played the role of an office accountant who, after being insulted by his female boss, took revenge. He also appeared in a serial called Bhanvar (aired on SET India) for two episodes. In one episode, he performed the role of a thug who somehow lands in court. Theatre and television kept him afloat until Mira Nair offered him a cameo in Salaam Bombay! (1988) though his role was edited out in the final film. He then featured opposite Roopa Ganguly in Basu Chatterjee"s critically acclaimed drama film Kamla Ki Maut (1989).

In the 1990s, he appeared in the critically acclaimed films Ek Doctor Ki Maut and Such a Long Journey (1998) and various other films which went unnoticed. In 1998, Khan played role of "Rantnakar" the Bandit, aka "Valmiki" who was BANDIT and turned into the well known Monk / Poet who wrote "The Ramayana" in Sanjay Khan"s serial "Jay Hanuman". After many unsuccessful films, things changed when London-based director Asif Kapadia gave him the lead in The Warrior, a historical film completed in 11 weeks on location in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. In 2001, The Warrior opened in international film festivals, making Khan a known face.

Between 2003 and 2004, he acted in Ashvin Kumar"s short film, Road to Ladakh. After the film received rave reviews at international festivals, the film was being made into a full-length feature starring Khan. That same year he played the title role in the critically acclaimed Maqbool, an adaptation of Shakespeare"s Macbeth.

His first Bollywood lead role came in 2005 with film Rog. His performance was praised by critics; one wrote, "Irfaan"s eyes speak louder than his words and every time he is in frame, be it talking to his buddy Manish or arguing with Suhel, he shows his capability as an actor". Thereafter he appeared in several films either playing the leading role or a supporting role as a villain. In 2004 he won the Filmfare Best Villain Award for his role in film Haasil. Critics praised his performance in Haasil, saying that "as the ambitious, brash, fearless goon who is mind-blowing. He is outright scary and makes you sit up, wondering what he"ll do next". He also played an antagonist in the Telugu film Sainikudu.

In 2007, he appeared in the box office hits Metro, for which he received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, and The Namesake. His chemistry with Konkana Sen in Metro was one of the highlights of the multi-star movie. They were closely followed by his appearance in the international films A Mighty Heart and The Darjeeling Limited.

Even after his success in Bollywood, he has continued his television career. He anchored a show Mano Ya Na Mano (airing on Star One). He hosted another programme named Kyaa Kahein which was similar to Mano Ya Na Mano.

In 2008, he was featured as a narrator in an Arts Alliance production, id – Identity of the Soul. The performance toured worldwide, with tens of thousands turning out to see the event as it toured the West Bank. He also plays the police inspector in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, for which he and the cast of the movie won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. About him, Danny Boyle said, "he has an instinctive way of finding the "moral center" of any character, so that in Slumdog, we believe the policeman might actually conclude that Jamal is innocent. Boyle compares him to an athlete who can execute the same move perfectly over and over. "It"s beautiful to watch.""

In 2009, he featured in the film Acid Factory. Khan has stated that he wants to do more action films in the future. He also appeared as an FBI agent in New York and as a Gujarati diamond merchant in New York, I Love You. His film, Paan Singh Tomar, about real-life athlete turned dacoit, received extremely favourable reviews by critics.

In 2010, he worked on the third season of the HBO series In Treatment, enacting the part of Sunil, who is finding it difficult to come to terms with his wife"s death and loneliness after moving to New York.

Khan played Dr. Rajit Ratha in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. Khan played the adult version of Piscine "Pi" Molitor Patel in Ang Lee"s film adaptation of Life of Pi, which became a critical and commercial success worldwide. In 2013, he starred in The Lunchbox, which won the Grand Rail d"Or at Cannes Film Festival and received a BAFTA nomination, and became his highest-grossing Hindi film up until then.

In 2014, Khan appeared in Gunday, which was a moderate box office success. He also made guest appearances in the films The Xpose and Haider, playing an important role in the latter. In 2015, he played the lead role in the film Piku alongside Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan. Khan co-starred in the 2015 film Jurassic World. In the same year, he also appeared in the acclaimed thriller Talvar in which his performance was praised. He appeared in Jazbaa in October 2015 alongside Aishwarya Rai which was very well received by critics. He was next seen alongside Tom Hanks in the 2016 adaptation of Dan Brown"s Robert Langdon thriller Inferno.

In 2017, Khan appeared in two films, Hindi Medium and Qarib Qarib Singlle. The former was commercially and critically successful, while the latter was an average grosser. Khan"s portrayal as Raj Batra in Hindi Medium earned him several accolades, one of which was the Filmfare Award for Best Actor of that year. Hindi Medium became a sleeper hit in India and China, becoming his highest-grossing Hindi release, surpassing The Lunchbox. As of 2017, his films have grossed US$3.643 billion at the worldwide box office.

In 2018, Khan appeared in Karwan, with Dulquer Salmaan, Mithila Palkar and Kriti Kharbanda. The film released on 1 June 2018. He also appeared in Blackmail opposite Kirti Kulhari in the same year.

In 2020, he appeared in Angrezi Medium, directed by Homi Adajania who directed Cocktail and Finding Fanny alongwith Kareena Kapoor Khan, Radhika Madan and Deepak Dobriyal. The film was released on 13 March 2020. Incidentally it was his last released film before his death on 29 April.

These apart, In September 2015, he was appointed as the brand ambassador for "Resurgent Rajasthan", a campaign by the state government of Rajasthan. He lent his voice to the light and sound show at the war memorial for the Indian army at Vidhan Sabha Road, Jaipur. This show portrays the valour and courage of the Rajasthani soldiers and their historic and modern triumphs in battle.

On the personal front, On 23 February 1995, Khan married writer and fellow NSD graduate Sutapa Sikdar. They had two sons, Babil and Ayan.

Sikdar said about him, "He was always focused. I remember when he would come home, he would head straight for the bedroom, sit on the floor, and read books. The rest of us would be hanging around gossiping." Even now, as he reads through at least one new Hollywood script a week, he believes in doing his homework, staying up till 3 in the morning, taking notes, trying to understand ways to play his character. Sikdar recalls how he would demand as many as 11 rewrites from her when he directed episodes of Banegi Apni Baat. "Once he dragged me to a police station in Mumbai to understand procedure," she recalls. In 2012, he changed the spelling of his name from "Irfan" to "Irrfan" and has said he likes the sound of the extra "r" in his name.

In February 2018, Khan was diagnosed with "undisclosed disease", and it was speculated by many media outlets that he has "brain cancer". After much speculation, the actor took to his Twitter account and announced that he would "share his story" in "a week - ten days" and asked the media and fans not to "speculate" anything. On 16 March 2018, Khan announced through a Twitter post that he was suffering from a neuroendocrine tumour - a rare form of cancer that can target various parts of the body. He travelled to London for treatment.

He was admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on 28 April 2020, where he started receiving treatment for a colon infection. He died the following day at age 53, from the infection, four days after his mother"s death in Jaipur. Multiple Bollywood personalities, including actors Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan paid tributes online upon the news of his death.

The Life Of Pi star battled the tumour for several months and returned to Mumbai some months ago after being treated in London. Irrfan Khan is survived by his wife Sutapa and two sons.