Irrfan Khan, legendary Indian actor and star of countless Western productions, has died at the age of 53. According to The Guardian, he had been battling cancer since 2018 and passed away in a Mumbai hospital from a colon infection on Tuesday.
In a statement, his family writes, “It’s saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away. Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him.”
After making his feature film debut with an appearance in 1988’s Salaam Bombay!, Khan struggled throughout the ’90s with minor gigs until his breakthrough performance in 2001’s Warrior. The English picture opened the door for a number of featured roles in Indian productions such as 2003’s Haasil, 2004’s Maqbool, 2005’s Rog, and 2007’s Metro.
By the late aughts, Khan began crossing over into more Western productions, working with Wes Anderson on 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited, Danny Boyle’s 2008 Oscar hit Slumdog Millionaire, and the third season of HBO’s In Treatment in 2010. From there, he continued to find acclaim in both Indian and Western blockbusters. Other notable film credits include 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and 2015’s Jurassic World.
Collectively, as of 2017, his films have grossed $3.6 billion at the worldwide box office. He was also a heavily decorated actor, having won countless awards, most notably the National Film Award for Best Actor in 2012’s Paan Singh Tomar. He also won four Filmfare awards for his work in Haasil, Metro, Paan Singh Tomar, and 2017’s smash hit Hindi Medium.
Khan is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan.