Irrfan Khan: An Actor Par Excellence, Who Left Too Soon

Remembering his legacy on his first death anniversary

2 min read
“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go. But what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye”
Irrfan Khan in his final scene from Life of Pi

Irrfan, in the heartbreaking final scene from Life of Pi, spoke of exactly what we felt at his passing. An actor par excellence, his talents did not know any bounds.

Born on 7 January 1967, Sahabzaade Irrfan Ali Khan earned a scholarship to the National School of Drama during his Masters. Irrfan later moved to Mumbai and started filming for television serials like Chanakya and Bharat Ek Khoj.

He started his film career with Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay!, where, unfortunately, his role was edited out in the final film. However, that didn’t stop him.

He was then part of a few more films such as Ek Doctor Ki Maut, and Such a Long Journey where his role went unnoticed again. Finally, he was cast in The Warrior, and he quickly became a household name. He then went on to play the titular role in Maqbool - an adaptation of Macbeth. By then, he was building a strong name for himself.

In 2004 he won the Filmfare Best Villain Award for his role in film Haasil.

After that, Khan continued his climb up, with excellent performances in films like The Namesake, The Lunchbox, Hindi Medium, Haider, Piku and Paan Singh Tomar for which he won a National Film Award.

In a career spanning 30 years, Irrfan won numerous awards, including the Padma Shri in 2011, for his contribution to the arts. Irrfan’s final release was Angrezi Medium.

In 2018, Irrfan took to Twitter to openly talk about his fight with cancer. “I trust, I have surrendered,” said Irrfan. Irrfan Khan’s passing is truly a loss we will never overcome.

(The article is from The Quint's archives and is being republished to mark Irrfan Khan's death anniversary)

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