Bollywood icon Irrfan Khan has died at the age of 53.
The actor, who was known internationally for his roles in Life of Pi and Jurassic World, died today, April 29, after being admitted to a hospital in Mumbai the previous day with a kidney infection.
Khan had previously announced in 2018 that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, a rare illness affecting cells that release hormones into the bloodstream.
A spokesperson for the actor said in a statement, as per The Independent:
‘I trust, I have surrendered’; These were 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.’
Khan had undergone treatment for cancer throughout 2019. Just two months after he went public with his diagnosis he wrote an open letter to his fans detailing his battle, reflecting on the ‘intensity’ of his pain and the ‘uncertainty’ of life.
Tributes have already begun pouring in for the actor, both from fans and those in Bollywood, with Piku co-star Amitabh Bachchan tweeting: ‘An incredible talent… a gracious colleague… a prolific contributor to the World of Cinema… left us too soon… creating a huge vacuum.’
Politician Harish Khurana described him as ‘one of the finest actor of modern films era’, adding: ‘u will be missed forever. Sorry to Hear about this sad News. May almighty bless his Soul.’
While Khan was a star in Bollywood, the actor was best known to English-speaking audiences as the police inspector in Slumdog Millionaire – a film which went on to win eight Oscars.
He also starred in other Hollywood blockbusters, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Jurassic World, and Inferno. In 2012, he played the adult version of the lead character in the Oscar-winning Life of Pi.
Irrfan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan.
Our thoughts are with Irrfan’s loved ones at this difficult time. Rest in peace.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.