Shah Rukh Khan on Irrfan Khan: My friend, inspiration and the greatest actor of our times

Updated: Apr 29, 2020, 16:28 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Shah Rukh Khan penned a heartfelt and emotional note about Irrfan Khan's demise, shared a picture with him, and called him a friend, inspiration and the greatest actor of their times!

Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Shah Rukh Khan
Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Shah Rukh Khan

Life can be very unpredictable and the most traumatic and tearing example that comes to mind is that of Irrfan Khan, an actor who has departed too soon. Suffering from Neuroendocrine tumour for the last two years, the actor was a fighter. He was admitted to the Kokilaben hospital for colon infection and breathed his last today morning. He was 53!

Irrfan Khan's demise has left a void in the Hindi film industry that's unlikely to be filled in the coming years. There was nobody like him, what we call the inimitable artist. Almost everyone from the fraternity has mourned his loss. But the way Shah Rukh Khan has expressed his thoughts, one could easily tear up.

He shared a picture with the actor and wrote - "My friend...inspiration & the greatest actor of our times. Allah bless your soul Irrfan bhai...will miss you as much as cherish the fact that you were part of our lives..."

Have a look right here:

Shah Rukh Khan and Irrfan Khan worked together in Priyadarshan's 2009 comedy Billu, which was the former's home production. It's sad we could not see more of the two on the celluloid but they did meet often and bonded really well. With the great actor's demise, life's unpredictable nature has been confirmed yet again!

Bollywood celebrities, who worked with him or even those who were fans of his craft, paid homage and condolences to his legacy and the overall person that he was. One of the first ones to do that was his Piku co-actor Amitabh Bachchan. His presence will always be felt around us and the entire Hindi film industry!

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  • 1/17

    Maqbool (2003): The first in Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespearean trilogy, 'Maqbool' is an Indian adaptation of the play 'Macbeth' where Irrfan plays the titular role to perfection. Officially his first Bollywood film in a lead role, an opportunity passed on by Akshay Kumar, Irrfan's performance garnered rave reviews.

  • 2/17

    Haasil (2003): Critics praised his portrayal of a brash and fearless goon in 'Haasil'. His performance earned him the Filmfare Best Villain Award.

  • 3/17

    Life in a... Metro (2007): In 2007, he appeared in the box office hit 'Life in a... Metro' for which he received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. His chemistry with Konkana Sensharma in the film was much talked about and appreciated.

  • 4/17

    The Namesake (2007): Irrfan effortlessly stepped into the shoes of a practical, cool-headed Bengali man, Ashoke Ganguli, and pulled off the US accent too. The chemistry between Irrfan and Tabu was subtle, powerful and engaging.

  • 5/17

    Billu (2009): The most effective stories are the ones narrated simply. This is exactly what makes Irrfan's titular role in 'Billu' so heart-warming. He delivers a performance that raises the bar for himself and makes us laugh and cry just as effortlessly.

  • 6/17

    Yeh Saali Zindagi (2011): The crime-thriller unfolds as a narration by Irrfan, a gangster who works for the shady Saurabh Shukla but loses his heart to Chitrangda. He emoted less with his words and more with his eyes and left the audience wanting more of his subtle performances.

  • 7/17

    Paan Singh Tomar (2012): Hailed as Irrfan's best performance till date, he received several awards and nominations for his portrayal of real-life Rajput runner Paan Singh Tomar, including the National Film Award for Best Actor and Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.

  • 8/17

    Life of Pi (2012): As the older self of Pi Patel, a boy who survived being lost at sea with a Bengal tiger, Irrfan's role involved narrating the fantastical story to a writer. Irrfan was praised for his simplified portrayal of the complex character; a performance that balanced the details of truth and fiction well.

  • 9/17

    The Lunchbox (2013): Sajjan (Irrfan) and Ila (Nimrat) haven't met but helped by a twist of fate. They start sending each other little personal notes and soon these initially inhibited and later intimate notes become the highlight of their lonely existence. Irrfan, as a man who's toughened himself because of unfortunate circumstances, is brilliant and charming.

  • 10/17

    Haider (2014): Irrfan has a small but powerful cameo as Roohdaar (the man with the soul), who comes as a torchbearer for Haider. His performance, along with that of the rest of the film's cast, has been widely praised.

  • 11/17

    Qissa (2014): Irrfan plays Umber Singh, a Sikh who loses everything during the partition of India in 1947, and is forced to leave his homeland. He wishes for a male heir. When his fourth daughter (Tillotama Shome) is born, he decides to raise her as a son, to the extent that he gets her married to a woman. Irrfan and Tillotama have garnered critical acclaim for their performance and the film has been lauded at several international film festivals.

  • 12/17

    Talvar (2015): With 'Talvar', Meghna Gulzar takes a plunge into telling three theories around the 2008 murder of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and her family's domestic servant Hemraj, on the big screen. Irrfan plays Central Department of Investigation officer, Ashwin Kumar, who is convinced that the parents are innocent and suspects two servants to be the killers. Irrfan prepared for a month to get into the skin of his character and delivers an exceptionally confident performance.

  • 13/17

    Madaari (2016): 'Madaari' is another addition to those films that give the common man power to topple the movers and shakers of society. The message: you alone can make things happen, if you take things in your stride. Even though the film failed at the box office, Irrfan heaped praises for his performance. Pic/YouTube

  • 14/17

    Hindi Medium (2017): Irrfan and Pakistani actress Saba Qarim starred in this comedy-drama exposing the society's unreal obsession with English oratory skills.

  • 15/17

    Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017): Irrfan starred in this slice of life love story between two diametrically opposite people. Irrfan romanced southern belle Parvathy in this film and it not only opened to packed houses, but was also critically acclaimed.

  • 16/17

    Karwaan (2018): Based on three disparate individuals — a young millennial girl (Mithila Palkar); a single, urbane man, grappling with the usual downs of a regimented, corporate life (Dulquer Salmaan); and an old, conservative Muslim with a Lucknowi/Hyderabadi/Bhopali twang/swag (Irrfan) — going on a road trip, that threatens to change their world. Irrfan provided all the fun in the film, though the film didn't work at the Box Office.

  • 17/17

    Angrezi Medium (2020): His last film was comedy-drama Angrezi Medium, which hit theatres on March 13, 2020. But the film had a short run due to the coronavirus crisis that forced a complete shutdown of cinema halls. The film is a sequel to the 2017 hit film 'Hindi Medium', which starred Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in the lead roles. The movie also features Kareena Kapoor Khan, Radhika Madan and Deepak Dobriyal in pivotal roles.

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