Actor extraordinaire Irrfan Khan breathed his last on Wednesday after a hard-fought battle with neuroendocrine tumour. As fans and peers mourn the demise of the actor, the fact that his 25-years-long career is extraordinary but not as long as it should have been, stands out. Not only was the Padma Shri awardee and National Award winner a favourite of Bollywood fans worldwide, he had made his mark in international movies such as The Namesake, Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and Jurassic World.
Irrfan Khan got his first break in a movie in Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay. Since his first movie in 1988 to the recent Angrezi Medium that was released just before the nationwide lockdown, Irrfan Khan delivered versatile filmography, peppered with many modern classics.
Khan is also well known for his range of television shows from Chandrakanta, Banegi Apni Baat, Star Bestsellers and Mano Ya Na Mano. When he initially forayed into films, Khan portrayed smaller roles. One of the first commercial films he had done was Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor-starrer Mujhse Dosti Karoge! in 1992. He continued with roles in Kasoor (2001), Mahesh Bhatt's Gunaah (2002), Tigmanshu Dhulia's Haasil (2003). Khan's portrayal of Miyan Maqbool in Vishal Bharadwaj's 2003 adaptation of Macbeth was one of the defining moments of his career. The film was widely appreciated and Khan and Tabu were the stars of the show.
In Michael Winterbottom's 2007 drama A Mighty Heart starring Angelina Jolie, Khan portrayed the role of Karachi Police Chief. The movie was based on the memoirs of slain journalist Daniel Pearl's wife Marianne Pearl. He starred in Life...In A Metro the same year, as well as in two Hollywood productions, The Namesake and The Darjeeling Limited. In 2008, amid a bunch of Bollywood movies, Khan starred in Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire. In 2009, he starred in Billu opposite Shah Rukh Khan. The film was widely appreciated.
The year 2012 was iconic in Khan's career as it gave three big releases -- Tigmanshu Dhulia's Paan Singh Tomar, Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man and Ang Lee's Life of Pi.
Some of his recent iconic works include The Lunchbox (2013), Piku (2015), Talvar (2015), Hindi Medium (2017) and Angrezi Medium (2020).
Khan has won several Filmfare Awards, and was awarded the National Award for his role in Paan Singh Tomar. Irfan Khan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2011.