Bollywood Actor Irrfan Khan, Who Appeared In "Slumdog Millionaire" And "Life Of Pi," Has Died At Age 53

The renowned Bollywood star had had colon cancer for the last two years.

Indian actor Irrfan Khan has died at the age of 53, two years after he was first diagnosed with colon cancer.

Khan, one of Bollywood's most celebrated stars, rose to global fame with his roles in the Oscar-winning films Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi.

"Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him," his family said in a statement Wednesday. "We all pray and hope he is at peace."

The actor tweeted in March 2018 that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor. He was admitted to the intensive care unit of Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital last week.

The actor, born Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan, studied at the prestigious National School of Drama in New Delhi and made his film debut in 1988 in Mira Nair's Academy Award–nominated Salaam Bombay! He broke into the international spotlight in the 2001 film The Warrior, which won that year's prestigious BAFTA award for best British film.

Over the next two decades, he achieved critical and commercial success in English-language and Bollywood films, among them The Namesake, The Amazing Spider-Man, Jurassic Park, Paan Singh Tomar, and Hindi Medium.

On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the actor, whose death he called "a loss to the world of cinema and theatre."

Irrfan Khan’s demise is a loss to the world of cinema and theatre. He will be remembered for his versatile performances across different mediums. My thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers. May his soul rest in peace.

Titans of the Bollywood industry have also been posting remembrances on social media.

T 3516 - .. just getting news of the passing of Irfaan Khan .. this is a most disturbing and sad news .. 🙏 An incredible talent .. a gracious colleague .. a prolific contributor to the World of Cinema .. left us too soon .. creating a huge vacuum .. Prayers and duas 🙏

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. “पैमाना कहे है कोई, मैखाना कहे है दुनिया तेरी आँखों को भी, क्या क्या ना कहे है” Love u

The charisma you brought to everything you did was pure magic. Your talent forged the way for so many in so many avenues.. You inspired so many of us. #IrrfanKhan you will truly be missed. Condolences to the family.

Khan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar, and their sons, Babil and Ayan.


Khan died of colon cancer. A previous graphic in this post incorrectly linked his death to the coronavirus.

Topics in this article