• May 30, 2020
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 Irrfan Khan poses with a statuette at the 2014 Asian Film Awards in Macau. He won Best Actor for his role in romance movie The Lunchbox, which also won the Asian Film Award for Best Screenplay. (Photo in public domain)

Bollywood star Irrfan Khan is best known internationally for his roles in Life Of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire. The 53-year-old died Wednesday, April 29. 

“Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him,” said Khan’s PR agency, Hardly Anonymous Communications. Earlier this week, he was admitted to the ICU in Mumbai, India, due to a colon infection. In March of 2018, Khan revealed that he had a rare neuroendocrine tumor, an abnormal growth in specialized cells.

He rose to international fame when he played a police inspector in Slumdog Millionaire. The film won eight Academy Awards and seven BAFTA Awards in 2008. In the following years, he starred in Life of Pi which won multiple Golden Globes and Academy Awards.  Khan also played supporting roles in major US films like The Amazing Spider-Man, Jurassic World, and Inferno.

News of his death prompted an outpouring of tributes and messages of condolences on social media. Fans, politicians, and other Bollywood figures are commemorating his life and career on Twitter.

“He will be remembered for his versatile performances across different mediums. My thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers,” tweeted Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister. “Irrfan Khan’s demise is a loss to the world of cinema and theatre,” added Modi. 

Politicians Amit Shah, India’s Home Minister, and Devendra Fadnavis, Former Maharashtra Chief Minister, also shared their sympathy online.

Amitabh Bachchan, a Bollywood icon, said in a tweet that Khan was “a gracious colleague .. a prolific contributor to the World of Cinema.”  “You inspired so many of us,” tweeted Priyanka Chopra Jonas, another Bollywood actor who broke into US mainstream media. 

Across the globe, people are mourning Khan’s death. It is not only a loss for Indian cinema, but the world as a whole.

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