Irrfan Khan Biography

Irrfan Khan was that shining diamond in the world of cinema, whose glow will continue to illuminate the world of Indian cinema and TV for decades to come. Read on to know all details about Irrfan Khan.

by Monika

Updated: Apr 29, 2020 17:54 IST

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Biography of Irrfan Khan

Personal Life:

Born as Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan, in Jaipur, Rajasthan (NW India) January 7, 1967, in a Pashto speaking Muslim family. Irrfan Khan's mother, Begum Khan, belonged to the Tonk Hakim family, and his father, Jagirdar Khan, was from the Khajuriya village near the Tonk district, who ran a tire business. The Khan family name is derived from Turkish and Mongol languages which means "king" or great leader. 
Irrfan was a talented cricket player. In his early 20's he was nominated for the CK Nayudu Tournament (a stepping stone to First-Class cricket) but he did not turn up for the tournament owing to a lack of funds, and as a result, he focused on acting. In 1984 he got a scholarship to the National School of Acting in New Delhi.


He was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour for his contribution to the field of arts.
Irrfan won the National Film Award for Best Actor and a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Paan Singh Tomar in the acclaimed biographical sports drama Paan Singh Tomar (2011) . His performance in the BAFTA Award-nominated romance The Lunchbox (2013) earned him universal acclaim by critics and audiences.
In 2004, Irfaan won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor Negative Role for Haasil, in 2008, for Best Supporting Actor for Life in a Metro, and in 2018, for Best Actor for Hindi Medium.

Career Achievements:

Irrfan made his film debut wit a small role in ‘Salaam Bombay’ in 1988. Worldwide, Khan was in The Warrior (2001), The Namesake (2006), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), the Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Life of Pi (2012), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), New York, I Love You (2009), Jurassic World (2015) and Inferno (2016). As of 2017, his films have grossed $3.643 billion at the global box office. In 2018, Irrfan was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor. Irrfan Khan was last seen on-screen in "Angrezi Medium" (2020)

Marriage Life:

Khan has been married to his wife Sutapa Sikdar, since 1995. She is a Hindu of the Brahmin caste. Sutapa is an Indian Film Producer, Dialogue Writer, and a Screenplay Writer. Famous Movies: Khamoshi: The Musical (Dialogue Writer, 1996), Supari (Dialogue Writer, 2003), Kahaani (Dialogue Writer, 2003), Madaari (Producer, 2016), Qarib Qarib Singlle (Producer, 2017)
Irrfan Khan and Sutapa have two kids: Ayaan Khan, Babil Khan

Religious Beliefs:

In contrast to most Indian film stars, Irrfan has been vocal about religion. On Arnab Goswami's talk show, he took on Muslim fundamentalists, even India's Grand Imam. Irrfan Khan debated against "transactional religious interaction" and for "personal religious discovery"..." to discover yourself, to find God." Though he admits the Koran and Islamic Holy scriptures, he has bravely stood by his comments despite harsh criticism and also threats of aggression. He's aware of the dangers that his straight-from-the-shoulder comments lead to him and his family. His wife commented, "We are very proud of him."

Irrfan's Death:

Irrfan died on 29th April, 2020 in Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai. The cause of death is colon infection from which he had been suffering for a very long time. Khan died at the age of 53.

Unknown facts about Irrfan Khan:

  • Irrfan Khan is the first Bollywood actor to star in two films that won the Academy Award for Best Director (Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and Life of Pi (2012)). Both the films fetched the Academy Award for Best Cinematography and Best Original Score.
  • In two completely unconnected movies, Irrfan Khan speaks of 'Richard Parker': the tiger in Life of Pi (2012) and Spiderman's dad in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).
  • Irrfan was signed for the movie "Tezaab - Acid of Love" but opted out.
  • Irrfan was signed for Deepa Mehta's Midnight Children, but was later replaced by Ronit Roy.
  • He had signed a film titled "Fanne Khan" directed by Shivam Nair. Randeep Hooda later replaced him. Kunal Khemu's name was also being talked about as being the lead actor. The film was announced in 2012 and was put off in 2014.
  • He was signed for the lead role in Mira Nair's "The Reluctant Fundamentalist." He later refused as he did not want to play the role of a terrorist.
  • Irrfan was starred in Tigmanshu Dhulia's shelved 2006 period drama " Ghulaami." Co-starring Sunny Deol and Sameera Reddy.
  • Khan was starred in Tigmanshu Dhulia's shelved 2004 film "The Killing of a Porn Filmmaker". Co-starring Konkana Sen Sharma. In the film, Irrfan plays a porn filmmaker who finds out he was Adolf Hitler in his last lifetime. To pay for the sins of his last lifetime, he starts to do charity work. A Jew kills him in the climax of the film.
  • He was starred in the shelved film 1998 "Kanoon Ki Zanjeer." Directed by Dilip Gautam and Baal Nave. Co-starring Chandrashekhar, Seema Kashyap, Laxmi Chhaya, Asha Sharma, Avtar Gill, Junior Mehmood, Kiran Kumar, Bharat Kapoor, Ram Sethi, Rakesh Bedi. Music by: Mewalal Sharma and Anmol.
  • Irrfan acted in Anil Sharma's 2004 shelved production "Phaansi." Directed by Chandrakant Barve. Co-starring Sunil Shetty (as a Punjabi Sardar), Rahul Dev, Deepti Bhatnagar.
  • He was signed for a major role in Anurag Kashyap's "Black Friday" but opted out.
  • Irrfan starred in director Navneet Baj Saini's 2007 shelved film " Teersri Manzil." Co-starring Lucky Ali, Ranveer Shorey, Deepal Shaw, Nausheen Ali Sardar. The film's title was later altered to "Bangkok Blues."
  • Irrfan was Starred in Jaya Pradha's 2006 shelved home production. Directed by Kitu Gosh. Co-starring Jaya Pradha, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Sandhya Mridul. The film was a suspense thriller.
  • Irrfan was approached to star in Anjan Das film "Faltu"(2005) Starring Yash Pandit Manjari, Tinnu Anand, Anjan Srivastav. Produced by Plan line Life. It was based on the partition. He agreed to act in the film but later had to back out.
  • Irrfan was signed for the film "Gangor" aka (Choli Ke Peeche), but was later replaced by Adil Hussein.
  • Khan acted in Mahesh Bhatt's 2004 shelved production based on Abdul Karim Telgi directed by Pooja Bhatt.
  • Starred in Sudhir Mishra's defered film "The Nawab The Nautch Girl and The John Company" co-starring Saif Ali Khan, Chitrangada Singh. It was a period film based in 1857. Sudhir initially wanted Anil Kapoor in the film. This took place in 2003.
  • He had gone to watch the shooting of Ganga Ke Saugandh and Jal Mahal as a child as both films were shot in his home town.
  • He was offered a role in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with Sean Connery. the deal fell through at the last moment.
  • He was offered Matt Damon's part in 'Interstellar' and Chiwetel Ejiofor's part in 'The Martian,' he ended up refusing both roles due to scheduling struggles.
  • Irrfan was going to act in the Hollywood movie "Indian Summer." The controversial film "Indian Summer,". Cate Blanchett was pulled in to play Edwina in the movie while Irrfan Khan was to play Nehru.
  • Two of the films that he has worked on (Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi) all together won 12 Oscars.
  • When he arrived in Bombay, he worked as an air conditioner repairman. He happened to repair an air conditioner at superstar Protection Status