Bollywood icon Irrfan Khan, who was known internationally for roles in Slumdog Millionaire, Jurassic World and Life of Pi, has died at the age of 53. His representative confirmed the sad news on Wednesday, a day after he was rushed to a Mumbai hospital for treatment for a colon infection. The statement read: "'I trust, I have surrendered', these were some of the many words that Irrfan expressed in a heartfelt note he wrote in 2018 opening up about his fight with cancer.
Irrfan Khan has died aged 53
"And a man of few words and an actor of silent expressions with his deep eyes and his memorable actions on screen. It's saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away." The message continued: "Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him. After having been struck by lightning in 2018 with the news of a rare cancer, he took life soon after as it came and he fought the many battles that came with it."
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"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 leaves behind his wife Sutapa Sikdar and their two sons, Babil and Ayan.
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Irrfan was regarded as one of India's most talented actors. His international breakthrough was in The Warrior, which won a Bafta. The late star, who also starred in The Lunchbox, Piku and Inferno, even received numerous awards, including a National Film Award and Filmfare Awards in four categories. Bollywood stars expressed their sadness, with Amitabh Bachchan tweeting: "An incredible talent... a gracious colleague... a prolific contributor to the World of Cinema... left us too soon... creating a huge vacuum." Shilpa Shetty wrote: "I'm numb today... I haven't been able to accept the loss of a brilliant co-actor & a fabulous person that @irrfank was! We've lost a gem today... but his legacy will live on through the phenomenal body of work that he has left behind. Rest in peace, Irrfan!"
He starred in both Hollywood and Bollywood films
In March 2018, Irrfan opened up about his battle with a tumour. Discussing his illness on Twitter, he said: "The unexpected makes us grow, which is what the past few days have been about. Learning that I have been diagnosed with NeuroEndocrine Tumour as of now has been admittedly difficult, but the love and strength of those around me and that I have found within has brought me to a place of hope."
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