Tributes Pour In For Irrfan Khan, Beloved Actor Who Died At 53
Khan was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and died of a colon infection.
Irrfan Khan, a popular actor who starred in films including "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Life Of Pi," died Wednesday in Mumbai, India. He was 53 years old.
Khan was diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor in 2018 and was admitted to a hospital in recent days with a colon infection. Khan’s family told The Times of India that he was surrounded by loved ones at the time of his death. In a statement, they said, "Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him. We all pray and hope that he is at peace."
Khan was beloved in Bollywood before crossing over to Hollywood and appearing in films such as "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Jurassic World." He continued to star in Indian films, most recently in "Angrezi Medium," which was released in March.
Tributes poured in from actors and filmmakers around the world upon news of his death Wednesday, including from his "Namesake" co-star Kal Penn, with many praising his uniquely compelling method of acting:
The loss of Irrfan Khan - at such a young age - is devastating. He was my favorite actor. I can’t think of someone who gave such layered and thoughtful performances but was also a movie star; you couldn’t take your eyes off of him onscreen. Love and peace to his family. pic.twitter.com/OjwhNgXgJu— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) April 29, 2020
Popular global Bollywood stars also weighed in:
My friend...inspiration & the greatest actor of our times. Allah bless your soul Irrfan bhai...will miss you as much as cherish the fact that you were part of our lives.— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) April 29, 2020
“पैमाना कहे है कोई, मैखाना कहे है दुनिया तेरी आँखों को भी, क्या क्या ना कहे है” Love u pic.twitter.com/yOVoCete4A
Khan had many fans from both Western and Indian cinema:
RIP IRRFAN KHAN. “The Lunchbox” is one of my favorite films & his performance in it was brilliant. Subtle & powerful. Watch his work today & appreciate his genius.— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) April 29, 2020
As well as fans of his non-acting work:
Khan’s mother passed away just four days before him at the age of 95 from natural causes. The Hindustan Times reported that Khan could not attend her funeral due to lockdown restrictions. Indian media also reported that Khan’s last words were about his mother, known as "Amma" in Hindi, leading to beautiful tributes like this one:
Though the actor had not posted on Instagram since 2018, one of his last posts has taken on a special significance today:
View this post on Instagram
God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me. Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand #rainermariarilke