Irrfan Khan – the Bollywood icon who also became one of Hollywood's go-to character actors – has died aged 53. He was admitted to a Mumbai hospital on Tuesday (28 April) with a colon infection and died Wednesday (29 April) after his health deteriorated.
Khan was best known to English speaking audiences for his roles in blockbuster hits Life of Pi, Jurassic World, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Slumdog Millionaire. He was also a Bollywood mainstay, appearing in such hits as Haider and Hindi Medium.
After working in Indian television soaps, Khan broke out thanks to British director Asif Kapadia's low budget samuri-esque debut feature, The Warrior. Following that movie's success, he quickly rose to fame in India.
In 2018, Khan revealed he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour and received extensive treatment. He went on to appear in Angrezi Medium, Khan's last movie, which was released in March earlier this year, though it's release was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A statement from his representatives reads: "'I trust, I have surrendered'; These were some of the words Irrfan expressed in a heartfelt note he wrote in 2018 when opening up about his fight with cancer. He was 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 announce 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 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.’”