Irrfan Khan an actor whose versatility knew no bounds. He was a true performer and an undisputed artist. Recipient of the fourth highest Indian civilian award Padma Shri, Irrfan Khan has appeared in more than 30 Bollywood films in his three-decades-long career and played remarkable roles in movies like Maqbool, Pan Sing Tomar, Haasil, Piku, Madaari, Life of Pi and many more. But the actor left us too soon and created a void in our lives and movies.
Coming from a conservative Muslim family, Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan was born on 7 January 1967. Irrfan always had a taste for acting which took him to the National School of Drama, New Delhi. After graduation, Irrfan moved to Mumbai in the year 1987. The actor entered the industry without any Godfather and with his hard work and determination, he got fame and recognition.
A step towards fame
He started his career with the small screen and acted in television serials like Chanakya, Chandrakanta, Bharat Ek Khoj, Sparsh for Doordarshan. But still, he had to carve a long path to become a part of this glorious film industry.
In the year 1988, Khan got a chance of working in the mainstream movies and his first film was Salaam Bombay! In Mira Nair’s movie, Irrfan did a small role as a ‘letter writer’. Though the movie was critically acclaimed and got included in the list of “The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made” by The New York Times, Irrfan could not gain much recognition. He still had to work hard in order to sustain himself in the film industry.
The journey of becoming the favorite Khan of Bollywood:
It was a time when everyone already had their favorite Khan in the industry, Irrfan had to find a way, and his main recognition came from the movie ‘The Warrior’ in which he played the lead role. This movie gained Irrfan recognition on both national and international platforms and became a turning point for his career. After this, he worked in films like Haasil(2003) and Maqbool(2004) and both movies established him as a strong artist. Irrfan always said, “I want to entertain people but with some substance” and it was seen in his films.
Movies The Namesake(2006) and Life in a Metro(2007) gained Irrfan critical acclaim. Till then Irrfan’s true potential as an actor was not known, which came into existence with the movie Pan Singh Tomar(2011) in which he played the role of a dacoit and did immense justice to the character. The movie became a benchmark of his career for which he was awarded the National Award for best actor.
Star loved by Hollywood
Irrfan did not stop only at Bollywood but went on doing amazing work in Hollywood and did some notable roles in the movies The Amazing Spiderman(2012), Life of Pi(2012), Slumdog Millionaire(2012), Jurassic World(2015) and Inferno(2016). With these amazing roles, Irrfan left a mark internationally too. Actors who worked with Irrfan always said that he acted with his eyes and his eyes speak more than his words.
Irrfan: The Million Dollar Khan
Irrfan was not a chocolatey boy or a romantic hero but his character in the movie ‘The Lunchbox’ got him this title also. An exceptional love story showed Irrfan’s caliber as a romantic guy whose delicate smile and little blushes won many hearts. The movie also created a record by receiving the Toronto Film Critics Association Award and became the only Indian movie to receive this award.
Be it a quirky love of Piku or crime documentary-like Talvaar, Irrfan was known for his enviable acting skills. He spellbound everyone with his screen appearances. Irrfan also got the title of “Million Dollar Khan” for the international success of his movie Jurassic world.
The actor was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer in March 2018 for which he was undergoing treatment in London. Irrfan fought the disease with all his courage for two years. But lost the battle on 29th April 2020 and left the whole industry in shock.
Irrfan Khan’s whole life was an inspiration and there has never been a performer like him and there will never be. Though the actor has left us, but he will forever remain in our hearts.