A Padma Shri beneficiary, as well as one of the finest actors in Indian cinema, Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan, known more popularly as Irrfan Khan, has established himself even within international circles. He was born on 7 January 1967 in Rajasthan, where his father owned a tyre business. In 1984, Irrfan Khan earned a scholarship to study at the National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi. After this, he moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in acting. He started off by acting in television, and was regularly featured in a number of serials in a variety of roles. From a serial killer to a historical revolutionary figure, Irrfan Khan had played it all. At that time, he was also acting in stage plays and theatre, further honing his skills as an actor. He made a silent debut with the film Such a Long Journey
(1998), which was a critically acclaimed film. However his initial films did not lead to any recognition for the talented actor. But he found his break with Asif Kapadia's The Warrior
(2001) which aired at many film festivals, and finally got the actor noticed. He then appeared in Haasil
(2003) which won him a Filmfare Award for the Best Actor in a Negative Role. His next major achievment was his leading role in Maqbool
(2003), an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth
by Vishal Bhardwaj. The film was critically very well received and got Irrfan Khan much acclaim.
He went on to act in a few other popular films such as Aan: Men at Work
(2004) and Chocolate
(2005). Life in a... Metro
(2007) won him the Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actor. He was also in Mumbai Meri Jaan
(2009), and 7 Khoon Maaf
(2011), delivering exceptional performances that further solidified his position as a highly talented and versatile actor in the industry.
After that, his lead role in Paan Singh Tomar (2012) got him the National Film Award for the Best Actor. Next year, he appeared in the critically acclaimed films The Lunchbox (2013) and Qissa (2013). He appeared yet again in Vishal Bhardwaj’s next adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the award winning film Haider (2014). His next great success in the Hindi film industry was Piku (2015), where he played the romantic lead opposite Deepika Padukone.
Apart from his excellent work in the Hindi film industry, Irrfan Khan has appeared in several international productions. Of these, the most popular was the Academy Award winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008), where he played a supporting role. Apart from this he has appeared in both critically appreciated and mainstream films like A Mighty Heart (2007), The Namesake (2007), New York, I Love You (2009), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Life of Pi (2012), and Jurassic World (2015).
Irrfan Khan is married to fellow NSD student Sutapa Sikdar and has two sons with her.