Irrfan Khan, a Bollywood icon who starred in Hollywood movies including Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi, died on Wednesday, April 29. He was 53.
“‘It’s saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away,” Khan’s public relations agency, Hardly Anonymous Communications, said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him. … Surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about, he left for heaven abode, leaving behind truly a legacy of his own. We all pray and hope that he is at peace. And to resonate and part with his words he had said, ‘As if I was tasting life for the first time, the magical side of it.’”
The actor was buried at the Versova kabrastan in Mumbai, India, later on Wednesday.
“In presence were his family, close relatives and friends. Everyone paid their final respects and mourned the loss of his passing away,” the statement continued. “We pray for his peace and we hope he’s in a better place today. He was strong in his fight, and we all have to be strong too in this loss.”
The news came two years after Khan announced that he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Earlier this week, he had been admitted to the ICU at Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital due to a colon infection, according to his PR agency.
His mother, Saeeda Begum, died on Saturday, April 25, but he was unable to attend her last rites due to the ongoing lockdown that was put in place in their home country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Khan’s career spanned more than three decades, beginning with several TV dramas in the mid-1980s. He made his film debut in Salaam Bombay! in 1988.
After years of playing supporting roles, the Jaipur, India, native started taking on lead parts in the early 2000s. His breakthrough came with Haasil in 2003, followed by Life in a… Metro in 2007 and The Lunchbox in 2013.
He became an international star after playing a police inspector in the 2008 crime drama Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Academy Awards. Four years later, he starred in another Oscar-winning movie, Life of Pi.
Khan’s other American credits included The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, Jurassic World in 2015 and Inferno in 2016.
He is survived by his wife, Sutapa Devendra Sikdar, and their sons, Babil and Ayan.