Acclaimed Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan has died in the Indian city of Mumbai after he was admitted to a city hospital with a colon infection on Tuesday. He was 53.
“Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him,” his publicist said in a statement on Wednesday.
He spent his final hours “surrounded by his love, his family for whom he most cared about”, a statement released by his family said.
The actor had spent several months last year in the United Kingdom undergoing cancer treatment.
His mother, Saeeda Begum, died four days ago on April 25.
Deeply saddened to learn that #Irffan Khan passed away this morning. Gone too soon .. such a powerful actor and how valiantly he fought back the cancer. Its a big loss not only to his family but to the entire film industry. RIP
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) April 29, 2020
He is survived by his wife, TV producer Sutapa Sikdar, and sons Babil and Ayan.
Khan brought a modern sensibility to recent hit movies and featured in several Hollywood films such as Life of Pi and The Namesake.
‘An incredible talent’
He was among the first Indian actors to make a consistent mark in Western cinema, following earlier crossover pioneers like Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth and Om Puri.
The actor was last seen in Bollywood comedy Angrezi Medium, which was released in March.
Born Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan in the western state of Rajasthan, in a family with no ties to cinema, the actor recalled in interviews that as children, he and his siblings were not allowed to watch movies.
The only exception was when a visiting uncle took them to the theatre.
I’m sorry to hear about the passing of Irrfan Khan. A versatile & talented actor, he was a popular Indian brand ambassador on the global film & tv stage. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family, friends & fans at this time of grief.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 29, 2020
“An incredible talent,” said Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in one of many Twitter tributes following Khan’s death. “A gracious colleague. A prolific contributor to the world of cinema .. left us too soon creating a huge vacuum.”
Another well-known director, Karan Johar, said, “Thank you for raising the bar as an artist … Thank you for enriching our cinema… We will miss you terribly, Irrfan.”
Al Jazeera and news agencies