“I want to entertain people, but with some substance”
A quote said by the person known for refined acting, powerful screen presence, and getting into a character all the time, aka Irrfan Khan.
His very presence on-screen had the audience spending the moolah, as everyone knew they are going to see some serious acting, which he did with equal finesse on screen with effortless body language and acting skills.
We cannot do such a great artist justice without looking down a bit on his past, and what motivated Irrfan to take up the field of acting.
A Legend is Born
Born as Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan to a Muslim Pathan family on the 7th January 1967 in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
His father was the late Jagirdar Khan, who hailed from Khajuria village near Tonk district. He had a tyre business.
His mother was Begum Khan, who belonged to the Tonk hakim family.
During the completion of his MA, Irfan bagged a scholarship to study at the prestigious NSD (National School of Drama) back in 1984.
He had a Diploma in Dramatic Arts.
Film Career Was Something Irrfan Had Not Planned!
Getting into the world of movies was never a dream, which Irrfan had planned for.
His interest was more towards cricket, but the family did not see eye to eye with this choice.
However, after earning the scholarship in NSD, Irrfan took a love to acting and rest is history.
The Struggle to Stardom
No one can ever guess the first job of such a legendary and versatile actor as Irrfan would be that of an air condition repair man.
However, legends abound that the first house to which he catered his services was that of the Superstar Rajesh Khanna.
The Big Debut
Yes! You are looking at Irrfan of 1980s when we saw him on the big screen in the Academy Award nominated Salaam Bombay.
A surprising fact for all his fans – Irrfan was in his final years of NSD during the filming.
He Did Wanted to Call it Quits with Bollywood Once!
At a point of his acting career, his television shows got him the maximum roles, and it is also when his movies were not doing that well.
The versatile Irrfan was almost about to quit acting when things took a turn for the better.
The Warrior, directed by Asif Kapadia in 2001 was a historical movie, which gave him a lead role and also a renowned figure in the world of acting both in India and abroad.
The Time When Irrfan Turned Down Christopher Nolan
A refusal to do a Hollywood movie, especially one by Christopher Nolan needs a lots of guts.
Irrfan had this in him, as he refused a good role in the 2014 blockbuster Interstellar.
But, Irrfan had not ego issues, as he clearly stated that he was committed to two projects, Lunch Box and D Day.
Now if that is not professional commitment, I don’t know what else to call it.
Hardwork Pays Off!
Despite being an actor with substance at the core of each role, Irrfan also bagged many awards including;
- National Film Award for the Best Actor in the 60th National Film Awards 2012 with Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his role in Paan Singh Tomar.
- 2014 had him bag the Asian Film Award for Best Actor.
- He also bagged three International Indian Film Academy Awards, three Filmfare Awards, and Independent Spirit Award nomination.
- 2017 had him bag another award, namely the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for Hindi Medium in 2017.
The Padma Shri Recipient
Back in 2011, Irrfan bagged the 4th highest civilian honor in India, the Padma Shri.
He got the award for his significant contribution to the field of arts.
The Shocking Truth!
Unfortunately, this talented actor left us all in shock on the morning of 29th April, 2020, Wednesday when he succumbed to Neuroendocrine tumor at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai.
What the Celebrities Have to Say About This?
As the news of the demise of this great legend broke on the internet, everyone from celebrities to politicians came forward to express their grief over the loss of this great soul.
Let us see what they have to say!
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,” – Amitabh Bacchan sharing his grief over the news.
“Deeply saddened to learn that #Irrfan Khan passed away this morning. Gone too soon .. such a powerful actor and how valiantly he fought back the cancer. It’s a big loss not only to his family but to the entire film industry. RIP” – said Shabana Azmi.
“IRRFAN KHAN. There shall never be one like you. RIP,” – actor Paresh Rawal.
“Such terrible news…saddened to hear about the demise of #IrrfanKhan, one of the finest actors of our time. May God give strength to his family in this difficult time,” – Akshay Kumar.
“Irrfan’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,” – PM Narendra Modi tweeted.
May His Soul rest in peace!