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Irrfan Khan (1967–2020), Bollywood icon who costarred in “Life of Pi” and “Slumdog Millionaire”

by Linnea Crowther

Irrfan Khan was an actor who was well known for his work in Bollywood films as well as for roles in “Life of Pi,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and other Hollywood films.

From Bollywood to Hollywood

Khan got his start acting on Indian television, later breaking into movie roles and becoming a leading man with films including “The Warrior” (2001). He became one of India’s most famous and popular actors, and as “The Warrior” opened on the international film festival circuit, he also gained a worldwide following. Khan went on to star in Bollywood films including “Rog” 2005) and “Metro” (2007) before being cast as the police inspector in Best Picture-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008). He later took notable roles in Hollywood films including “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012), in which he played Dr. Rajit Ratha, and “Life of Pi” (2012), playing Pi as an adult. Khan costarred as Simon Masrani in “Jurassic World” (2015) and played Harry Sims in “Inferno” (2016). As his fame grew internationally, Khan also continued to star in Indian films, rising to iconic status in his home country.

Khan on his passion for acting

“No one could have imagined I would be an actor, I was so shy. So thin. But the desire was so intense, I thought I’d suffocate if I didn’t get admission.” —from a 2013 interview with the Guardian


What people said about him

Full obituary: BBC News

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