It has been three years since the world lost one of the finest actors in Indian cinema, Irrfan Khan, on April 29, 2020. The versatile actor had been battling cancer for a few years, and his untimely death at the age of 53 left a void in the industry. On his death anniversary, let’s take a look back at his iconic performances that continue to inspire and influence generations.

Khan had a career spanning over three decades, and he worked in several critically acclaimed films. He won several awards, including the National Film Award, the Asian Film Award, and six Filmfare Awards. He also received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, for his contribution to the arts.

Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan

Honoring the Life and Work of Irrfan Khan on His Death Anniversary

Khan’s performances were marked by his understated yet powerful acting style, which made him stand out from his contemporaries. He brought life to every character he played, and his range as an actor was unmatched.

Some of his most memorable performances include:

  1. The Warrior (2001) – In this historical adventure film set in medieval Rajasthan, Khan played the lead role of Lafcadia. The film won several awards, including the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film at the BAFTA Awards.
  2. Maqbool (2003) – Khan’s performance as the titular character in this crime drama, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, was widely praised. The film was a commercial success and established Khan as a force to be reckoned with in Indian cinema.
  3. The Namesake (2006) – Khan starred in this drama based on Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel of the same name. His performance as Ashoke Ganguli was widely acclaimed, and the film was a critical and commercial success.
  4. Life of Pi (2012) – Khan played the adult version of the character Pi in this Ang Lee directorial that won several awards, including four Oscars. His nuanced performance was one of the highlights of the film.
  5. Paan Singh Tomar (2012) – Khan played the lead role in this biographical sports drama based on the life of an athlete-turned-dacoit. His performance won him the National Film Award for Best Actor and several other accolades.
  6. The Lunchbox (2013) – Khan’s portrayal of Saajan Fernandes in this romantic drama won him critical acclaim. The film won several awards, including the Grand Rail d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
  7. Hindi Medium (2017) – Khan’s performance as Raj Batra in this comedy-drama about a couple trying to get their daughter admitted to a prestigious school won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

From The Warrior to Hindi Medium: Irrfan Khan’s Impactful Journey in Indian Cinema.

Irrfan Khan (January 7, 1967 – April 29, 2020) was an Indian actor, known for his versatile and nuanced performances in both Bollywood and Hollywood. He was one of the few Indian actors to have successfully made the transition to international cinema, with appearances in films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, and The Amazing Spider-Man. Khan received numerous awards for his work, including a National Film Award, an Asian Film Award, and six Filmfare Awards.

Irrfan Khan
Remembering Irrfan Khan: A Look Back At His Iconic Performances On His Death Anniversary 6

Early Life and Education:

Irrfan Khan was born in Tonk, Rajasthan, India, to a wealthy Muslim family. His father, Jagirdar Khan, was a wealthy landlord who ran a tire business, and his mother, Sayeeda Begum, was a homemaker. Khan had three siblings – two elder brothers and a younger sister. His family moved to Jaipur when he was a child.

Khan attended St. Xavier’s College, Jaipur, where he was actively involved in theater. He later studied at the National School of Drama in New Delhi, where he honed his acting skills and learned various aspects of theater production.


Irrfan Khan made his acting debut in 1988 with the television series, Bharat Ek Khoj, based on the history of India. He went on to work in several television shows and films in the following years, but it was his performance in the 2001 film, The Warrior, that brought him critical acclaim and international recognition. The film, directed by Asif Kapadia, won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film and introduced Khan to a global audience.

Khan’s success with The Warrior led to more opportunities in international cinema, including a supporting role in the 2008 film, Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He also appeared in The Darjeeling Limited (2007), New York, I Love You (2009), and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).

In Bollywood, Khan was known for his versatility and ability to portray complex characters. He appeared in numerous acclaimed films, including Maqbool (2003), Life in a… Metro (2007), Paan Singh Tomar (2012), and The Lunchbox (2013). He also appeared in several commercially successful films, such as Piku (2015) and Hindi Medium (2017).

Khan was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor in 2018 and underwent treatment for the same. He was in London for the treatment when he died on April 29, 2020, due to complications arising from the illness.

Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan


Irrfan Khan’s death was mourned by fans and colleagues around the world. He was known for his nuanced and empathetic performances, and his ability to bring depth and complexity to every character he played. Khan’s talent and versatility made him one of the most respected actors in India and beyond. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, in 2021.

Khan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar, and their two sons, Babil and Ayan. His contributions to Indian cinema and his legacy as an actor will continue to inspire generations of actors and filmmakers.

Personal Life:

Irrfan Khan married writer and fellow NSD alumna Sutapa Sikdar in February 1995, and the couple had two sons, Babil and Ayan. His wife and sons have also pursued careers in the film industry. Sutapa Sikdar is a writer and producer, and their son, Babil, has expressed interest in acting and has already made his acting debut in the film Qala.

Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan

In addition to his acting work, Khan was also involved in various philanthropic and social causes. He was an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund and supported various initiatives to promote education and health in India.

Khan’s legacy lives on through his work in cinema. His influence on the Indian film industry is still felt today, and his performances continue to inspire generations of actors. On his death anniversary, let’s remember the iconic actor and celebrate his contribution to Indian cinema.

Death and Legacy:

Irrfan Khan passed away on April 29, 2020, at the age of 53, after a prolonged battle with a rare form of cancer. His death was mourned by fans and colleagues around the world, who remembered him as a humble and talented actor who made a significant impact on the film industry.

In the aftermath of his death, the Indian film industry paid tribute to the actor, with many of his colleagues and friends sharing their memories and experiences of working with him. Several actors and filmmakers took to social media to express their condolences and pay tribute to his legacy.

Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan

Khan’s legacy continues to live on through his work in cinema. His performances in films like The Lunchbox and Paan Singh Tomar continue to be widely acclaimed, and his influence on Indian cinema is still felt today. His son, Babil Khan, has also expressed his desire to continue his father’s legacy in the film industry.

In recognition of his contributions to Indian cinema, the Filmfare Awards instituted the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award for Irrfan Khan’ in 2021, which was posthumously awarded to the actor.


Irrfan Khan was a rare talent who brought a unique sensibility and depth to the characters he portrayed on screen. He will always be remembered as one of the finest actors in Indian cinema, and his legacy will continue to inspire and influence generations to come.


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