Irrfan Khan, a veteran character actor in Bollywood movies who crossed over to Hollywood, has died. He was 53.
Khan died Wednesday after being admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital with a colon infection.
“Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him,” a statement released by the actor’s team said.
The Life of Pi actor took to Twitter to talk about his illness at the time.
“The unexpected makes us grow, which is what the past few days have been about. Learning that I have been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me, and that I found within me, have brought me to a place of hope,” he wrote on Twitter.
“The journey of this is taking me out of the country, and I request everyone to continue sending their wishes. As for the rumours that were floated NEURO is not always about the brain and googling is the easiest way to do research 😉 To those who waited for my words, I hope to be back with more stories to tell.”
Tumours originating in the cells of the neuroendocrine system are rare. They can develop in the intestines or pancreas and may prove cancerous.
Neuroendocrine tumours, often known as NET, are a condition in which there is an abnormal tissue growth in the hormone-producing nervous cells of the body. Whether or not the tumour is serious depends on if it is benign or malignant.
Neuroendocrine tumours may not cause any signs or symptoms if they grow slowly and don’t make too much of a certain hormone, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
The Canadian Cancer Society states that the signs and symptoms may appear as the tumour grows or if hormones are released by the tumour, but they vary depending on where the tumour develops in the body.
“I trust, I have surrendered,” Khan wrote in a heartfelt note after he broke the news of his cancer diagnosis.
Khan made his screen debut in the Academy Award-nominated 1988 drama Salaam Bombay!, a tale of Mumbai’s street children. He later worked with directors Mira Nair, Wes Anderson and Ang Lee.
Khan won a number of film awards in India, including a 2012 Indian National Film Award for best actor for his performance in Paan Singh Tomar, a compelling tale of a seven-time national champion athlete who quit India’s armed forces to rule the Chambal ravines in central India.
Khan received an Independent Spirit Award for supporting actor in 2006 for the Indian-American drama The Namesake and a Viewers’ Choice Award at the Cannes festival 2013 for his role in the Indian romantic drama The Lunchbox.
Khan also starred in the Hamlet-inspired Haider, a Bollywood film set in militarized Himalayan Kashmir.
Khan’s last Bollywood movie, Angrezi Medium, a sequel to one of his biggest hits, Hindi Medium (2017), was released before India went into lockdown in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In his career, which spanned over 30 years, Khan starred in movies such as The Warrior, which won a BAFTA for best British film and helped introduce him to new audiences.
During his crossover from Bollywood to Hollywood, Khan also acted in big films like Jurassic World, Inferno, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Namesake, Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi.
Many people took to Twitter to pay tribute to the star after news of his passing spread.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his condolences on Twitter, writing: “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.”
Kal Penn tweeted: “Irrfan’s art and humanity will be badly missed. Never seen someone use the beats of silence so beautifully to convey so much about who we are. Sending love to Sutapa and the family.”
Priyanka Chopra, who starred with Khan in 2011’s comedy 7 Khoon Maaf (Seven Sins Forgiven), wrote: “The world will always remember your legacy #irrfankhan. You fought like a warrior. Rest in peace my friend. My condolences to the family.”
Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar said: “Thank you for those indelible movie memories… thank you for raising the bar as an artist… thank you for enriching our cinema.”
Director Shoojit Sircar wrote: “My dear friend Irfaan (sic). You fought and fought and fought. I will always be proud of you. We shall meet again.”
Bollywood actor Parineeti Chopra tweeted: “Irrfan sir, you were the nicest, coolest guy. Every interaction with you was so memorable.”
Many others took to social media to share their condolences.
He is survived by his wife, television writer and producer Sutapa Sikdar, and sons, Babil and Ayan.
— With files from the Associated Press
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.