His eyes were multi-taskers. They could rage like a bushfire, be warm and tender like a grandma’s lap and convey the chaos inside a head for the world to see. Irrfan Khan, who passed away in a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday, sourced his eyes — and that lean, gangly frame — to create a cache of unforgettable characters in both Bollywood and Hollywood. He was 53.
Shoojit Sircar, his director in ‘Piku’, broke the news on social media. “My dear friend Irrfan. You fought and fought and fought. I’ll always be proud of you…” Sircar wrote on Twitter.
In 2018, the Jaipur-born actor was diagnosed with a malignant neuroendocrine tumour. He underwent treatment in London and recovered to rejoin work last year. Irrfan’s latest, ‘Angrezi Medium’, was released days before the lockdown and shifted to an OTT platform.
His mother, Saeeda Begum, had passed away last week. Any actor would be proud to own a resume like him. ‘Haasil’, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, ‘Maqbool’, ‘Life in a Metro’, ‘The Lunchbox’ and ‘Hindi Medium’ are marked by sincerity of performance and po lished aesthetics that fetched him awards and applause. If Bollywood was his bread, Hollywood became his butter in the latter part of his glittering career.