The 53-year-old actor died this morning in a Mumbai hospital where he was admitted yesterday after his condition worsened following a colon infection.
Gone too soon! Film industry, international stars unite to express grief at Irrfan Khan's death
Mumbai - 29 Apr 2020 16:43 IST
Updated : 16:44 IST
The Cinestaan Team
In his death, Irrfan Khan may have acquired that sheen of immortality that only a handful of artists get. The great actor's demise at the relatively young age of 53 has left many of his peers, colleagues and fans shocked and in grief. From Ava DuVernay to Akshay Kumar and Sudhir Mishra, actors, directors, and other members of the global film industry mourned his passing.
Director Anubhav Sinha, a close friend and colleague, put up a touching post. "You had so much more left to do," said the director, addressing Khan.
अभी तो time आया था तेरा मेरे भाई। अभी तो कितना काम करता तू जो इतिहास में लिखा जाता। क्या यार? थोड़ी ताक़त और लगाता भाई। पर लगाई तो होगी ही तूने सारी। ठीक है, जा। आराम कर। दो साल बहुत लड़ा तू। थक भी गया होगा। एक बार बैठना चाहिए था हम सारों को, दारू पीते। पर बैठते नहीं हम।— Anubhav Sinha (@anubhavsinha) April 29, 2020
Directors Sudhir Mishra and Hansal Mehta also took to social media to share their grief at the sudden demise of an actor unequivocally acclaimed as one of the best in contemporary Indian cinema.
Devastated. Irrfan Khan I owe you one. The reason will always remain our little secret. Something we will share like today. See you again. Until then you will live on in this world through your exceptional art.— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) April 29, 2020
Our Irrfan has gone ! Actor , ( for me a co-writer ) , humanist , secular and spiritual . A man in search of beauty , meaning and a connection with the universe . He was brutally honest , yet very kind . And that smile , how I’ll miss that smile !— Sudhir Mishra (@IAmSudhirMishra) April 29, 2020
Producer-director Mahesh Bhatt, who gave Irrfan Khan his first break as a leading man in mainstream Hindi cinema in Rog (2005), shared a verse from the film's song as a description of the actor's ability to take what comes his way with a smile.
Maine dil se kaha, dhoond laana khushi Nasamajh laya gum, to yeh gum hi sahi...Remember singing this song holding his hand when I met him after he was diagnosed. He smiled .The warmth of your smile will forever linger my friend. Alvida dost 🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/camRkKqimC— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) April 29, 2020
Sanjay Mishra, Irrfan Khan's junior at the National School of Drama in Delhi, found it difficult to speak when Cinestaan got in touch. "For now, all I can do is look towards the hospital where he has been kept. I don't know what else I can do," he said, his voice breaking. "I really can't speak."
Irrfan Khan was an actor who bridged the gap between radical independent cinema and commercial films and his passing has been widely mourned. Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn also shared their sorrow.
T 3516 - .. just getting news of the passing of Irfaan Khan .. this is a most disturbing and sad news .. 🙏— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) April 29, 2020
An incredible talent .. a gracious colleague .. a prolific contributor to the World of Cinema .. left us too soon .. creating a huge vacuum ..
Prayers and duas 🙏
Such terrible news...saddened to hear about the demise of #IrrfanKhan, one of the finest actors of our time. May God give strength to his family in this difficult time 🙏🏻— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) April 29, 2020
Heartbroken to hear about Irrfan’s untimely demise. It’s an irreparable loss for Indian cinema. Deepest condolences to his wife & sons. RIP Irrfan.— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) April 29, 2020
Actor Kay Kay Menon, who began his career in the 1990s when Khan was also trying to find his feet in cinema, sounded emotional as he told Cinestaan.com, "I am at a loss for words at the moment. It is too much of a shock. It is difficult to talk at this moment, but all I can say is that he is perhaps one of the greatest of my generation."
Describing Irrfan Khan's acting ability, Menon said, "He was an artiste who belonged to a generation that redefined performances on the screen. The fact that he stuck to his guns in terms of what he wanted to do, he didn't allow people to take him for granted, it is a very good quality to have. He gave us some wonderful gems as performances. He will be sorely missed."
Menon added: "I think it is a bit too unfair. It is completely unfair. He had years and years of stuff to give us."
Irrfan Khan's co-star from his penultimate film Karwaan (2018), Southern star Dulquer Salmaan, shared a post on Instagram praising the actor's presence. "You were kind, witty, charming, curious, inspired, compassionate and always fun," wrote the younger man.
Can’t wrap my head around this. You were this humongous talent, a living legend, an international movie star. And yet, you treated all of us on Karwaan and everyone you met, as equals. By some ease of your nature, you made us all feel like family. You were kind, witty, charming, curious, inspired, compassionate and always fun. I observed you the entire time like a student and a fan. Thanks to you, all through shoot I had a constant smile plastered on my face. I laughed endlessly, struggled to keep a straight face,and so often stared at you in absolute awe. In return you always had that grin. That amused grin at the world. Almost like it surprised you at all times. It’s how I’ll always remember you. 💔 #thehappiestofsouls
Actress Mithila Palkar, who, like Dulquer Salmaan, made her debut in Hindi cinema with Karwaan, also shared her memory of Irrfan Khan.
Happy times, happier memories!— Mithila Palkar (@mipalkar) April 29, 2020
Rest in peace, Sir. They don't make gems like you anymore. pic.twitter.com/uPUOzzZvs2
Such was Irrfan's presence and body of work that his death has drawn condolences from across industry lines. Hollywood director Ava DuVernay doffed a hat to Khan's charismatic screen presence.
Khan made his mark in several international projects, including The Namesake (2007). Actor Riz Ahmed shared his tribute to the actor, calling him "an inspiration and a hero".
Rest in peace one of the greatest actors of our time, Irrfan Khan. I never met him but he was an inspiration and a hero to me and millions of others. His work was consistently transcendent, he was a guiding light for so many of us. pic.twitter.com/BwobeLvNLn— Riz Ahmed (@rizwanahmed) April 29, 2020
Khan's death was mourned even in other areas of human excellence, such as sports. Television presenters Harsha Bhogle and Alan Wilkins too joined the mourners online.
In grief on reading of the passing of #IrrfanKhan. So much energy, so much intensity taken away so soon. My heartfelt condolences to Sutapa and the children. His work lives forever.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 29, 2020
Tragic news that one of India's best actors, Irrfan Khan, has passed away. I found his acting mesmerising and his role in "A Mighty Heart" was outstanding. A life taken too early. RIPIrrfanKhan #IrrfanKhan #Irrfan @adnanactor— Alan Wilkins (@alanwilkins22) April 29, 2020
Prime minister Narendra Modi shared his condolences for the actor, followed by several politicians, proving that Khan's impact went far beyond the film screen.
Irrfan Khan’s demise is a loss to the world of cinema and theatre. He will be remembered for his versatile performances across different mediums. My thoughts are with his family, friends and admirers. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 29, 2020
Saddened beyond measure by the passing of a human being I had never met, but who gladdened my heart and the hearts of millions with his incandescent talent. RIP @irrfank, gone when he had so much more to give https://t.co/4qscNrSfQv— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) April 29, 2020
Konkona Sensharma, who featured with Irrfan Khan in Anurag Basu's slice-of-life film Life In A... Metro (2007), shared a touching tribute to the actor.
Irrfan shone so bright that we all reflected in his glory. Who will we look to for such integrity again?— Konkona Sensharma (@konkonas) April 29, 2020
The world is a lesser place now. Thank you for having the courage to be yourself and unlocking worlds for us, Irrfan. We will remember you.
Rajkummar Rao, another of Hindi cinema's current lot of excellent artistes and a junior of Irrfan Khan in the industry, shared memories of learning from the late actor and listening to his conversations on art.
Today is a huge loss for the industry, our country & for artists all over the world. Irrfan Sir was one of the finest actors of Indian cinema & I will always cherish all the times I spent with him, listening to him & learning from his conversations of Art, life & so much more. pic.twitter.com/hvx3fXCgFt— Rajkummar Rao (@RajkummarRao) April 29, 2020
Ayushmann Khurrana shared a short tribute to Irrfan Khan.
Irrfan Khan was laid to rest at 3pm at the Versova cemetery in suburban Mumbai in the presence of his family and close relatives and friends.