Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan died on Wednesday after battling neuroendocrine tumour for two years. The actor was 53.
Film actors, directors and other celebrities mourned his death on social media and called it an unimaginable loss for the film industry. Among those who paid tributes were actors Amitabh Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, politicians Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi and others.
The actor had appeared in several high-profile international films such as Jurassic World, Inferno, Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and others, over the years. By 2017, the global box office haul of his films exceeded $3.6 billion.
Irrfan's Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow tweeted on Wednesday, "Deeply sad to have lost #IrrfanKhan. A thoughtful man who found beauty in the world around him, even in pain. In our last correspondence, he asked me to remember 'the wonderful aspects of our existence' in the darkest of days. Here he is, laughing." The filmmaker shared a picture of a laughing Irrfan from his most recent film, Angrezi Medium.
Irrfan's The Warrior director, Asif Kapadia, wrote on Twitter, "Love you Irrfan bhai," and shared a picture from their film, which propelled the actor to international acclaim.
The BBC commented, "Khan was known for his nuanced and understated performances, with many calling him one of India's most talented actors." Deadline pointed out, "Khan, widely considered one of India's finest actors, received numerous awards, including the National Film Award and multiple Filmfare Awards."
"In a career that spanned over thirty years, Khan was a prolific film and television actor famed for his range as well as the humanity he brought to his roles," The Hollywood Reporter noted in its obituary. "Mr. Khan was among the first Indian actors to make a consistent mark in Western cinema, after earlier crossover pioneers like Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth and Om Puri," The New York Times mentioned.
But despite his success abroad, Irrfan never left India. "I keep getting interesting offers. If I were younger, I might have thought of relocating to Hollywood. But I never really felt like leaving India. My people are here and so are my stories. Today, small and unconventional films are redefining cinema in India. And I am happy to be part of this brave, new world. Hollywood is just a bonus," he said in a Hindustan Times Brunch interview.