After having been admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on Tuesday where he was under observation for a colon infection, actor Irrfan Khan has died at the age of 53. In 2018, he had announced that he had been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour.

The news of his death was shared by his representative along with a statement:

‘I trust, I have surrendered,’ these were the some of the many words that Irrfan expressed in a heartfelt note he wrote in 2018 opening up about his fight with cancer. And a man of few words and an actor of silent expressions with his deep eyes and his memorable actions on screen. It’s saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away. Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him. After having been struck by lightning in 2018 with the news of a rare cancer, he took life soon after as it came and he fought the many battles that came with it. Surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about, he left for heaven abode, leaving behind truly a legacy of his own. We all pray and hope that he is at peace. And to resonate and part with his words he had said, ‘As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it’.

On Twitter, filmmaker Shoojit Sircar announced the actor’s death: “My dear friend Irfaan. You fought and fought and fought. I will always be proud of you.. we shall meet again.. condolences to Sutapa and Babil.. you too fought, Sutapa you gave everything possible in this fight. Peace and Om shanti. Irfaan Khan salute.”


They say talent finds talent and it was Mira Nair who spotted his brilliance and cast him in 1988’s Salaam Bombay! The two would go on to collaborate in the critically acclaimed The Namesake in 2006.  Since then, Khan has, time and again, proved his mettle in numerous films.

Throughout his illustrious career, Khan has played character roles and has headlined films. He also went on to become Hindi Cinema’s most recognisable face in the West where he earned high praise from the likes of Danny Boyle and Roger Ebert.

His last project, Angrezi Medium, opened to wonderful reviews but its time in the theatres was cut short by the novel coronavirus pandemic. According to industry insiders, the film was geared for a re-release.



(Header credits: Rohan Shrestha)