Irrfan Khan, a veteran actor in Bollywood and a notable actor in major Hollywood films including Jurassic World, has died “surrounded by the people he loved most.” News broke this week that the actor was rushed to a hospital in Mumbai on Tuesday whilst dealing with a colon infection. He was ultimately placed in intensive care, where he passed away. Khan was 53.
Irrfan Khan had learned he had a rare tumor back in 2018. He’d battled cancer for the last couple of years, but had still managed to film a few projects, including this March’s Angrezi Medium. An official statement (via The Daily Mail) indicated his family and friends were able to be with the actor when he died, which is not always the case during this time.
A popular Bollywood star, in Hollywood Irrfan Khan appeared in such films as Jurassic World (and reprised the role in the video game Lego Jurassic World). He also played the adult Pi Patel in Life Of Pi, appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man, and acted as a police inspector in the Best Picture Winner Slumdog Millionaire. Back in 2013, he won India's National Film Award for Paan Singh Tomar. In it, he led the movie as its titular character. His popularity in Bollywood and his ability to smoothly transition into roles for English language movies cannot be understated.
Actress Priyanka Chopra worked with Irrfan Khan on several movies, including the 2008 Indian action-thriller Chamku and 2014’s Gunday. The actress notably spoke out to pay tribute to the wildly popular actor after news of his death broke, vaguely mentioning the actor’s battle with cancer and sharing an image of them together in her post.
Even India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been leading since 2014, extended his own condolences to the actor's family.
During his time as an actor, Irrfan Khan was active with fans on social media, sharing project news and other feelings and moments. Following the diagnosis of his illness, he shared a Rainer Maria Rilke poem that resonates especially now.
The loss of Irfan Khan is not the only loss the family has suffered this month. Reports indicate the actor's mother passed away four days before her son. She was 95 years of age at the time of her death. Due to restrictions around the world constricting movement and encouraging social distancing, the actor was unable to attend to her last rites, after she died in Jaipur.
BBC reports that Irrfan Khan was buried soon after his death in the Mumbai hospital. He was laid to rest at the Versova Kabristan cemetery in Mumbai. His family and friends were able to be present for the event. Our thoughts go out to them during this difficult time.