'Slumdog Millionaire' star Irrfan Khan called 'pure magic' in tributes after his death at age 53

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Irrfan Khan — the star of Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi and Jurassic World — died on Wednesday at age of 53, leading to tributes from co-stars, friends and admirers.

A statement from his PR agency, Hardly Anonymous Communications, confirmed his death, saying, “It's saddening that this day, we have to bring forward the news of him passing away. Irrfan was a strong soul, someone who fought till the very end and always inspired everyone who came close to him."

Priyanka Chopra co-starred with the Indian actor who became a global film star in several movies, and revealed that he “fought like a warrior” after being diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor, a rare form of cancer, in 2018. Last week, Khan was hospitalized in a Mumbai intensive care unit with a colon infection.

In a second post on Twitter, Chopra wrote of her Gunday and Seven Sins Forgiven co-star, “The charisma you brought to everything you did was pure magic.”

Frieda Pinto, who appeared in the acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire with Khan, called his death “A VOID that can NEVER be filled because there was simply no one like Irrfan Khan.”

Kal Penn, who appeared in 2006’s The Namesake with Khan, wrote that his “art and humanity will be badly missed.”

Colin Trevorrow, who directed Khan in Jurassic World, called him a “thoughtful man who found beauty in the world around him, even in pain.” He said in Kahn’s “darkest of days,” he asked him “to remember ‘the wonderful aspects of our existence.” He made sure to share a photo of Khan laughing.

Akshay Kumar, who appeared with Khan in films including Thank You, also paid tribute.

Amitabh Bachchan, a fellow Bollywood superstar, called Khan’s death “disturbing and sad news.” He called him “an incredible talent,” “gracious colleague” and “prolific contributor to the World of Cinema.” Internationally, Khan’s roles also included The Amazing Spider-Man and Inferno. In India, some of his best-known roles include Maqbool, Haasil and The Lunchbox.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Khan’s death a “loss to the world of cinema and theatre.”

Ava DuVernay was among his admirers, calling herself a “grateful fan” of the actor.

Josh Gad was also a fan, calling Khan “amazing.”

While Khan was diagnosed with the neuroendrocrine tumor and was receiving treatment in London, he shot a film, Angrezi Medium, which was released in India last month. However, he did not participate in the promotion of the film, according to Variety, and had not made public appearances since his diagnosis.

Irrfan Khan — a Bollywood and international star from films including Slumdog Millionaire, Jurassic World, Life of Pi and The Amazing Spider-Man has died at age 53. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)

Khan’s mother died in Jaipur just prior to his own death, and he watched her funeral remotely from Mumbai, due to coronavirus quarantine in India.

Khan is survived by his wife Sutapa and sons Babil and Ayan.

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