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Irrfan Khan
Also known as: Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan
Actor • Executive Producer • Narrator
Born: January 7, 1967 in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
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About
Widely regarded as one of the finest actors in contemporary cinema, Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan aka Irrfan Khan was known primarily for his work in Bollywood. In a career spanning over three decades, he appeared in around a hundred films across all major film industries in the country, besides appearing in a number of Hollywood and other international productions. Consequently, Irrfan was easily one of the most well-known faces of Indian cinema, especially to the global audience. For his immense contributions to the field of arts, the Indian government honoured the celebrated actor with a Padma Shri in 2011. Besides this, he also earned a National Award, four Filmfare Awards and several prestigious international honours to his credit. He passed away in April 2020.

Early Life
Born in a Muslim family on 7th January 1967, Khan spent his childhood in Rajasthan. His father, late Jagirdar, ran a tire business and his mother, Sayeeda Begum, hailed from the Tonk Hakim family. While Khan was pursuing an MA degree in 1984, he earned a scholarship to study at the National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi.

Personal Life
Irrfan Khan was married to Sutapa Sikdar, who is a writer and was his fellow graduate at NSD. The couple got married on 23rd February 1995 and have two sons: Babil and Ayan.

Acting Career
After studying at the National School of Drama, Delhi, Khan moved to Mumbai and began his acting career with TV serials. He made his debut in a teleplay, Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode, which was adapted from a Russian play written by Mikhail Shatrov. he, later, went to be a part of a number of TV serials including Bharat Ek Khoj, Chandrakanta, Chanakya, Darr and Bhanvar. During the early days of his film career, Irrfan did quite a few offbeat projects such Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1990) and Such a Long Journey (1998). However, it was London-based director, Asif Kapadia` s movie, The Warrior (2001), that gained Irrfan Khan worldwide recognition post the release of the movie. Later, in 2003, Irrfan appeared in a short film, Road To Ladakh, which was received with positive reviews at many international festivals. In the same year, Irrfan starred in Maqbool, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The movie was critically acclaimed and Irrfan`s performance was praised by the audience. In 2004, he won the Filmfare Best Villain Award for his role in the movie Haasil (2003).

A couple of years later, Irrfan`s first Bollywood lead role came with the movie, Rog (2005). Although it failed at the box office, Irrfan`s performance was highly praised by the critics. After his break as a lead actor, Irrfan went on to appear in many movies either as lead or supporting actor or a villain. He further impressed the audience with another powerful performance in the movie like The Namesake (2006), Life in a ...Metro (2007) and Oscar Award winning movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008). In the same year, he was also part of `id - identity of the soul`, a performance art produced by Martin Rod. He featured as the narrator and toured worldwide.

Continuing to deliver hits, Irrfan appeared in movies such as Acid Factory (2009), and New York (2009). One of Irrfan`s career-best performances came with the biopic on the real-life athlete turned dacoit, Pan Singh Tomar, which received rave reviews from the critics and won him a National Film Award for Best Actor.

After being part of international movies such as A Mighty Heart (2007), and The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Irrfan portrayed the role of Dr. Rajit Ratha in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). He has also worked in the HBO television series, In Treatment.

In 2013, Irrfan starred in another critically acclaimed movie, The Lunchbox, (2013). The movie went on to win several international awards and Irrfan`s role as Saajan Fernandes, a widower, was applauded by the critics and audience alike. Then, in 2014, Irrfan was part of the movies Gunday (2014) and Haider, which were massive hits both commercially and critically. In 2015, he starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in the much acclaimed movie Piku. The movie, directed by Shoojit Sircar was a big hit at the box office and went to win several awards. His next big hit was the Hollywood film Jurassic World, which also featured Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in the leading roles.

Further, Irrfan delivered a power-packed performance in Meghna Gulzar`s Talwar (2015).In 2016, Irrfan Khan starred in Nishikant Kamat`s Bollywood film Madaari and the Tom Hanks starrer Inferno. While Madaari was generally well-received, Inferno - the third installment in the Robert Langdon series - failed to make an impression both with the critics and the audience. The actor subsequently appeared in two light-hearted comedies: Hindi Medium (2017) and Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017), both of which opened to positive reviews and fared well at the box office.

In 2018, Irrfan was paired opposite Kelly Macdonald in the American drama film Puzzle, where he essayed the role of a reclusive competitive jigsaw puzzle solver. This was followed by the black comedy Blackmail (2018), where he portrayed a cuckolded husband on a quest for revenge. In the same year, Irrfan starred alongside Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar in the comedy-drama Karwaan, which was directed by Akarsh Khurana. Angrezi Medium was one of his last releases. In April 2020, the talented and widely acclaimed actor passed away.
Peers & More
Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Actor
Kay Kay Menon
Actor
Manoj Bajpayee
Actor
Family
Sutapa Sikdar
Spouse
Ayaan Khan
Son
Babil Khan
Son
Sayeeda Begum
Mother
Sahabzade Yaseen Ali Khan
Father
Rukhsana Begum
Sister
Imran Khan
Brother
Popular Movies
View All
Song of Scorpions
Angrezi Medium
Angrezi Medium (Exclusively For Women)
Karwaan
Puzzle
Blackmail (Hindi)
Qarib Qarib Singlle
Doob - No Bed of Roses
Raabta
Hindi Medium

Did You Know? (14)

  • Irfan Khan was offered a pivotal role in Christopher Nolan`s Interstellar (2014), but turned down the offer due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Before he was cast in Warrior, Irrfan Khan was doing a lot of television shows. The monotony got to him so much that he decided to quit acting.
  • Irrfan Khan lied about having theatre experience to avail his scholarship and get into the National School of Drama.
  • Dangal's script was originally written keeping in mind that Mahavir Phogat's role would be offered to Irrfan Khan. However, after the script was written entirely, the filmmakers decided to pitch it to Aamir Khan.
  • Irrfan Khan is the first Bollywood star to appear in two Academy Award-winning films - Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Life of Pi (2012).
  • Irrfan Khan was the senior to filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India.
  • Irrfan Khan's first paid acting job came at the age of 23. He appeared in a blink-and-miss role on a TV show about freedom fighters. Irrfan was paid INR 150 for the assignment.
  • Irrfan has lent his sonorous voice for two video games: Lego Jurassic World and Lego Dimensions.
  • To train for his role (which was later edited) in Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay! (1988), Irrfan Khan, who was then 18, rented an apartment in Mumbai along with actor Raghubir Yadav.
  • Irrfan Khan made a cameo appearance in Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay! (1988). However, his role was edited in the final cut of the film.
  • During his early days as a struggling actor in Mumbai, Irrfan Khan had almost decided to return to his home town Jaipur. However, the then-aspiring filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia convinced him to stay and said, "Stay back. I'll get you the National Award someday". Years later, in 2013, Tigmanshu directed Irrfan Khan in the movie Paan Singh Tomar. Both Irrfan and Tigmanshu won the National Awards for Best Actor and Best Film respectively.
  • In 2012, Irrfan Khan changed his name from 'Irfan' to 'Irrfan' revealing that he liked the sound of an extra 'r' in his name.
  • Irrfan Khan was offered the role in the movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist. However, the actor declined the offer as he did not want to play the role of a terrorist.
  • After Irrfan Khan arrived in Mumbai, he took up odd jobs to make money. One of the jobs he undertook was AC repairing. As a repairman, Irrfan visited legendary Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna's house as well.
  • Personal Quotes (9)

  • "What happens with every role, you have to trick yourself, you have to creatively find ways to explore the mental state of the character. "
  • "I want to entertain people, but with some substance. "
  • "For me, acting is becoming naked in front of people, you know? And when you know in the back of your mind somebody is testing you, you cannot really bare yourself. That's a feeling I always have when I'm auditioning."
  • "I can't think of a more pathetic situation for an actor than to do a film and not connect to it. And I pray to God that I never face that situation."
  • " I was going through a crisis once, so I went to therapy because I was so unbearable for myself."
  • " It surely gives you a high to be an international actor with quality work."
  • "Language does not make one an elite."
  • "Our Bollywood stars talk of being part of 100 crore films, I think I belong to the 1,000 crore club."
  • "The sign of a good society is where talent is respected."
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