Bollywood star Irrfan Khan, known internationally for his roles in “Life Of Pi” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” died Wednesday, his representatives confirmed. He was 53.
“It’s saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away,” read a statement from Khan’s PR agency, Hardly Anonymous Communications. “Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him.”
Khan, one of India’s best-known and most beloved actors, revealed in March 2018 that he had been diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor — an abnormal growth that begin in the body’s specialized neuroendocrine cells, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in Hindi Medium (2017).
Earlier this week, Khan was admitted to the ICU in Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital due to a colon infection, according to his PR agency.
Khan’s mother died last week, but Khan was unable to attend her last rites owing to India’s ongoing nationwide coronavirus lockdown restricting citizens’ movements, the agency said.
He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Born in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, Khan attended the National School of Drama in New Delhi and started his acting career soon after. After playing mainly supporting and character roles for more than a decade, he broke into leading roles in the early 2000s, starring in and winning his first award for the 2004 film “Haasil.”
He quickly gained national recognition in the following years, with roles in other award-nominated and winning films like “Life In A…Metro” and “The Lunchbox.”
He rose to international fame when he played a police inspector in “Slumdog Millionaire,” which won eight Academy Awards and seven BAFTA Awards.