Irrfan Khan was a legendary Indian actor. Apart from doing a wide range of popular Hindi films, he acted in British and American films. He was one of the finest actors in Indian cinema with a career that spanned over 30 years. He earned numerous accolades like the National Film Award, Asian Film Awards and various Filmfare Awards. In 2011, he received the Padma Shri Award which is considered a very high regard for an Indian.
Irrfan’s interest in acting stemmed from his maternal uncle who was a theatre artist in Jodhpur. He did several stage performances in Jaipur before he joined The National School Of Drama in New Delhi to study acting. During his early days in Mumbai, he worked as an air-conditioner repairman before he kick started his acting career.
After his course in National School Of Drama, he was offered a small role in the movie Salaam Bombay! He featured in a teleplay on Doordarshan, titled Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode and was cast as a psycho killer in the serial Darr. He played the role of Makhdoom Mohiuddin in Kahkashan and appeared in two episodes of the serial Bhanvar. He appeared in numerous tv serials throughout the 90s, including Chanakya, Bharat Ek Khoj, Sara Jahan Hamara, Banegi Apni Baat, Chandrakanta, Shrikant, AnooGoonj on Doordarshan, Star Bestsellers (Star Plus), Sparsh and The Great Maratha on DD National. He acted in the critically acclaimed drama film Kamla Ki Maut. In the 1990s, he acted in popular films like Ek Doctor Ki Maut and Such a Long Journey. In 1998, he played Valmiki in the serial Jai Hanuman.
He was cast in the historical film Warrior which turned out to be his breakthrough film that kick started his career in the right direction. Further to that he acted in a short film called Road To Ladakh which got rave reviews at international film festivals. During the same time he played the title role in the highly praised film Maqbool. His first Bollywood lead role was in the film Rog, which received a lot of praise and appreciation. Post this he appeared in various movies roles playing lead as well as supporting roles. He featured in a Telugu film titled Sainikudu. His career saw box office hits like The Namesake and Life In A… Metro. These roles were then followed by his appearance in the international films A Mighty Heart and The Darjeeling Limited. Despite his success in Bollywood, he continued to work in television by anchoring the show Mano Ya Na Mano and hosting Kyaa Kahein.
Further increasing his career graph he acted in Slumdog Millionaire and also featured in the films Acid Factory and New York along with the HBO series In Treatment, The Amazing Spider-Man and Life Of Pi to name a few. His lead role in Paan Singh Tomar won him the National Film Award for Best Actor. His starrer, The Lunchbox won the Grand Rail d’Or at Cannes Film Festival and received a BAFTA nomination. He appeared in major films like Gunday, Haider, Jurassic World, Madaari and played pivotal roles in Piku, Talvar, Jazbaa, D-Day and Inferno. His superhit movie Hindi Medium was widely appreciated and went on to become the highest grossing film of his career and his final appearance on screen was with its sequel Angrezi Medium. He played other notable roles that will never be forgotten.
With each performance Irrfan only increased his fan base. His talent to simply adapt to his character in an effortless manner made him one of the best actors the world has seen. The nation was saddened to hear the devastating news of his cancer diagnosis. The world has lost a cinematic legend who will never be forgotten, his legacy will live on through his extraordinary work in the movies.