Irrfan Khan Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

Irrfan Khan


Irrfan Khan (1967-2020) was a Bollywood actor, who also worked in British and Hollywood films. He died of a colon infection in April 2020.


Irrfan Khan was born as Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan on Saturday, 7 January 1967 (age 54 years; at the time of death) in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Since childhood, Irrfan was a passionate cricketer and played lots of cricket along with his best friend, Satish Sharma. Irrfan even played for the CK Nayudu tournament.

Irrfan Khan playing Cricket

While pursuing an MA degree, Irrfan earned a scholarship for the National School of Drama (NSD) in 1984, where he became good friends with Tigmanshu Dhulia.

Irrfan Khan with Tigmanshu Dhulia

He graduated with a three-year diploma in acting from the National School of Drama (NSD). After NSD, he went to Mumbai, where he acted in many films and television shows.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 6′

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Dark Brown

Family & Caste/Ethnicity

He belonged to a Pashto-speaking Nawab Muslim Pathan family in Jaipur.

Parents & Siblings

His father, Sahabzada Yaseen Ali Khan, was an entrepreneur, who belonged to the Khajuriya village near the Tonk district in Rajasthan and had a business of tires. His mother, Begum Khan, belonged to the Tonk Hakim family, who died on 25 April 2020 at the age of 95 in Jaipur; just four days before Irrfan’s death.

A childhood photo of Irrfan Khan with his parents and siblings

Irrfan had two brothers, Salman Khan, and Imran Khan, and one sister, Rukhsana Begum.

A childhood photo of Irrfan Khan with his siblings

Relationships, Wife & Children

After dating Sutapa Sikdar, a dialogue writer, he got married to her on 23 February 1995.

Irrfan Khan with his wife, Sutapa Sikdar

His wife belongs to a Hindu Brahmin family. The couple has two sons, Ayaan Khan, and Babil Khan.

Irrfan Khan with his wife and sons




Irrfan Khan made his television debut with the 1985 serial “Shrikant,” which aired on Doordarshan.

Irrfan Khan in his debut television serial Shrikant (1985)

Thereafter, he appeared in various television projects, such as Bharat Ek Khoj (1988), Chanakya (1991), Chandrakanta (1994), and Sparsh (1998). He also appeared in a teleplay, “Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode,” on Doordarshan in which he played Lenin. In his television career, he gave many remarkable performances, such as a serial killer in Star Plus’ “Darr” (1995), Makhdoom Mohiuddin (a revolutionary Urdu poet and Marxist political activist) in Ali Sardar Jafri’s Kahkashan, and Badrinath/Somnath (twin brothers) in Chandrakanta (1994).

Irrfan Khan in Chandrakanta

In 2009, Irrfan appeared as himself in MTV Hero Honda Roadies 7.

Irrfan Khan in Hero Honda Roadies 7

In 2010, he appeared in an American HBO drama, “In Treatment,” in which he played the role of “Sunil.”

Irrfan Khan in the HBO drama In Treatment

Last TV Show

His last television project was “Tokyo Trial” (2016), a Japanese four-part historical drama miniseries, in which he played the role of “Radhabinod Pal.”

Irrfan Khan in Tokyo Trial, his last television show


While Irrfan was enjoying a successful career on the small screen, Mira Nair offered him a cameo in Salaam Bombay (1988), making his entry into films; however, his role was edited in the final cut of the film.

Irrfan Khan in Salaam Bombay

After Salaam Bombay, there was no looking back, and he went on to give remarkable performances in various films. Even during the initial years of his career, Irrfan earned critical acclaim for his performance in films like Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1990) in which he played the role of a young journalist alongside Pankaj Kapur, and Such a Long Journey (1998), an Indo-Canadian English language film, in which he played as Gustad’s dad.

Irrfan Khan in Ek Doctor Ki Maut

Irrfan gained international recognition after London-based director Asif Kapadia offered him the lead role in “The Warrior” (2001).

In the same year, Irrfan appeared in the romantic thriller suspense film “Kasoor” in which he played the role of Public Prosecutor Nitin Mehta. Irrfan Khan earned critical acclaim after playing the role of “Ranvijay Singh” in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s directorial debut film “Haasil” (2003); the film established Irrfan as a bankable actor in Bollywood, and in the praise of Mr. Khan’s performance, critics wrote –

As the ambitious, brash, fearless goon who is mind-blowing. He is outright scary and makes you sit up, wondering what he’ll do next.”

Irrfan Khan in Haasil

Later, he worked on many other projects of Tigmanshu Dhulia including Paan Singh Tomar (2012) in which he played the titular role, a performance that earned him the National Film Award for Best Actor. The film was inspired by the life of Paan Singh Tomar from Morena, Madhya Pradesh.

His performance in Ashvin Kumar’s short film Road to Ladakh (2003-04) also earned rave reviews at international film festivals.

Irrfan Khan in Road to Ladakh

The 2005 Bollywood film “Rog” is considered the first Bollywood lead role of Irrfan.

Irrfan Khan in Rog

In 2006, he appeared in the Telugu film “Sainikudu” as Pappu Yadav.

Irrfan Khan in Sainikudu

His other breakthrough performance came in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool (2003).

Irrfan Khan in Maqbool

Later, he worked in another highly acclaimed film of Vishal Bharadwaj “Haider” (2014) in which he played the role of ‘Roohdaar.’

Irrfan Khan in Haider

In 2006, Irrfan appeared as “Ashoke Ganguli” in the English language film “Namesake.”

Irrfan Khan in Namesake

In 2007, he played the role of “Zeeshan Kazmi” in the American drama film “A Mighty Heart.”

Irrfan Khan in A Mighty Heart

In 2008, Irrfan appeared as the police inspector in the Academy Award-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire.” On his acting skills in the film, Danny Boyle said,

He has an instinctive way of finding the ‘moral center’ of any character, so that in Slumdog, we believe the policeman might actually conclude that Jamal is innocent. Boyle compares him to an athlete who can execute the same move perfectly over and over. It’s beautiful to watch.”

Irrfan Khan in Slumdog Millionaire

His performance as ‘Billu/Vilas Pardesi’ in Billu (2009) alongside Shah Rukh Khan set a new benchmark for friendship-genre films.

Irrfan Khan in Billu

In 2012, he played Dr. Rajit Ratha in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Irrfan Khan in The Amazing Spider-Man

In the same year, Mr. Khan played the adult version of Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel in another Academy Award-winning film “Life of Pi.”

Irrfan Khan in Life of Pie

His role as ‘Saajan Fernandes’ in The Lunchbox (2013), earned him international acclaim, and the film won the Grand Rail d’Or at Cannes Film Festival and also received a BAFTA nomination. When Irrfan appeared as ‘Rana Chaudhary’ in Piku (2015) alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone, his performance was loved both by the critics as well as the audience.


He played ‘Raj Batra’ in Hindi Medium (2017), which showcased the craze of middle-class families in India for English-medium schools.

Irrfan Khan in Hindi Medium

His performance as ‘Dev Kaushal’ in Blackmail (2018) was also liked by the critics.

Irrfan Khan in Blackmail

Last Film

When he appeared as ‘Champak Bansal’ in Angrezi Medium (2020), it proved to be the last performance of his career.

Irrfan Khan in Angrezi Medium


National Film Award

  • 2013: Best Actor for Paan Singh Tomar

    Irrfan Khan Receiving The National Film Award for Best Actor from Pranab Mukherji

Filmfare Awards

  • 2004: Best Actor in a Negative Role for Haasil
  • 2008: Best Supporting Actor for Life in a… Metro
  • 2013: Best Actor (Critics) for Paan Singh Tomar
  • 2018: Best Actor for Hindi Medium

Government of India Awards

  • 2011: Honoured with Padma Shri by the Government of India

    Irrfan Khan Receiving Padma Shri From Pratibha Patil

Other Awards

  • 2004: Screen Awards for Best Performance in a Negative Role for Haasil
  • 2012: CNN-IBN Indian of the Year
  • 2013: The Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences awarded him as Best Male Character for Paan Singh Tomar.

Note: Along with these, he was bestowed with many other awards, honours, and achievements in his career.


Criticised for his comments on the “Qurbani” ritual by Muslims on Eid-al-Adha

In 2016, while shooting for his film Madaari in Jaipur, he criticized the “Qurbani” ritual by Muslims on Eid-al-Adha. He said,

Jitne rituals hain, jitney festivals hain, hum unka asal matlab bhool gaye hain. Hamne unko ek tamasha bana diya he. (We have forgotten the real meaning behind rituals and festivals and have turned them into a spectacle). Qurbani ek bahut ahem festival hai… it means to sacrifice. A goat was then a prime source of food, and there were many who went hungry. So you had to, in a way, sacrifice something dear to you and distribute it to people.”

When various Islamic clerics criticized Irrfan for his comment, he replied,

Pls Bhaiyon, who r upset with my statement, either u r not ready to introspect or u r in a hurry to reach to a conclusion.”


On 29 April 2020, Irrfan Khan died of Colon Infection at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. He had been suffering from a neuroendocrine tumour since 2018. Many people across the country expressed their condolences over his sudden demise, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many Bollywood celebs.

Tigmanshu Dhulia leading the final rites of Irrfan Khan


  • Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Marlon Brando
  • Sport: Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat in France
  • Restaurant: Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat in France


  • Irrfan was a self-confessed chain smoker.
  • When it came to drinking alcohol, he wasn’t a gentleman drinker who would drink two pegs daily, he would rather prefer to drink the whole night. While talking about his drinking habit, he once said,

    Drinking’s not a gentleman’s game for me – you know two pegs every evening. If I start drinking, I drink till I drop dead. So generally, I don’t drink, because the next day I don’t like my body, I hate myself. When I was younger, I could keep drinking all night and it wouldn’t hit me that hard.”

  • Although he belonged to the Nawab family of Jaipur, he never carried the typical Nawabi arrogance, and he always maintained a down-to-earth persona throughout his life.
  • In 2012, he became “Irrfan” from “Irfan” by adding an extra “r” to the spelling of his name.
  • He used to live in an apartment on the 5th floor of Oshiwara, Mumbai.

    Irrfan Khan’s Residence

  • When he arrived in Mumbai for Salaam Bombay, he shared a flat with Raghubir Yadav.
  • In his leisure, Irrfan loved reading and playing Cricket.
  • Irrfan was an advocate of the vegetarian diet, and during a chat show, he admitted that even after coming from a Pathan family, he had some distinctly “un-Pathan” traits. He said,

    My family would tell me, Brahmin paida hua Pathano ke ghar mein.”

  • Irrfan was so compassionate towards animals that whenever he accompanied his father on his hunting adventure, he used to imagine what would happen to the family of the animal that was going to be hunted. In an interview, he shared this experience and said,

    Dad always used to take us along when he went hunting. For us, it was adventurous; but when I went with my sister or my little brother, it was a bit traumatic because even though we enjoyed the mystery of the jungle and being in a new environment, when a wild animal was ultimately killed, we used to imagine what would happen to the animal’s family or its mother. We used to create an emotional connect with the animal. I learnt how to use the rifle, but I never hunted with it. I also strangely, did not eat non-vegetarian food; maybe I didn’t enjoy the taste.”

    Irrfan Khan playing with a dog

  • He once shared a ten-rupee Indian currency note that had the serial number resembling his date of birth.

    Irrfan Khan and the Ten Ruppe Note with his date of birth on it

  • In an interview, he revealed that when the film Jurassic Park was released in 1993, he didn’t have enough money to buy tickets to watch the film; however, in 2015, he became a part of the film’s series Jurassic World.
  • In 2015, he gave voice to the character of “Simon Masrani” in the video game “Lego Jurassic World.” In the same year, he gave voice to the same character in another video game “Lego Dimensions.”
  • In September 2015, the Rajasthan Government appointed him the brand ambassador for a campaign, “Resurgent Rajasthan.”

    Irrfan Khan as the face of the Resurgent Rajasthan campaign

  • He gave the voice-over to the character “Baloo” in The Jungle Book (2016).
  • On 16 March 2018, while shooting for his film Blackmail, he took to his Twitter handle to announce that he was suffering from a neuroendocrine tumour.

    Irrfan Khan’s Tweet about his illness

  • When his mother died on 25 April 2020, Irrfan could not attend her final rites in Jaipur as he was locked down in Mumbai in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Irrfan was known for his expressive eyes, and in praise of his eyes, a film critic once wrote,

    Irfaan’s eyes speak louder than his words.