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Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan, also popularly known as Irrfan Khan, ( ; born 30 November 1962) is an Indianmarker actor in film, television and theatre. He received recognition for his roles in The Warrior (2001), Maqbool (2003), Haasil (2004), The Namesake (2006), A Mighty Heart (2007), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Billu (2009) and New York (2009) and Vodafone commercials. He has won two Filmfare Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Independent Spirit Award nomination.

Early life and background

Khan was born and brought up in Jaipurmarker, India. He was born into a Muslim Nawab family. He was studying for his M.A. degree when he earned a scholarship to study at National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhimarker in 1984.


After graduating in 1987, Khan moved to Mumbaimarker, where he acted in numerous television serials like 'Chanakya','Sara Jahan Hamara' 'Banegi Apni Baat' and 'Chandrakanta' (Doordarshan), 'Star Bestsellers' (Star Plus), Sparsh, etc. He was the main villain in a series called Darr (which aired on Star Plus), where he played the role of a psycho serial killer, opposite Kay Kay Menon. He also played the role of famous revolutionary Urdu poet and Marxist political activist of India Makhdoom Mohiuddin in Kahkashan produced by Ali Sardar Jafri.

He acted in some of the episodes of Star Bestsellers (aired on Star-Plus). In one of the episodes, his role was of a parchoon shopkeeper who has a misconception that his landlord's wife is trying to seduce him & it turns out that his own wife (TIsca Chopra) is cheating on him. In the other one, he played the role of an office-accountant who, after been insulted by his lady-boss, took revenge by making her mad. He also appeared in a serial called Bhanvar (aired on SET India) for two episodes. In one episode, he performed the role of a thug who somehow landed to a court, where he presented himself as a lawyer.

Theater and television kept him afloat until Mira Nair offered him a cameo in Salaam Bombay (1988) though his role was edited out in the final film.

In the 1990s he appeared in the critically acclaimed film Ek Doctor Ki Maut and Such a Long Journey (1998) and various other films which went unnoticed.

After many unsuccessful films, things changed when London-based director Asif Kapadia gave him the lead in The Warrior, an historical film completed in 11 weeks on the locals in Himachal Pradeshmarker and Rajasthanmarker. In 2001 The Warrior stormed in international film festivals making Irrfan Khan a known face, world over.

In 2003 he acted in Indian born writer-director, Asvin Kumar's short film, Road to Ladakh. After the film received rave reviews at international festivals, the film is now being made into a full length feature, again starring Irrfan Khan. That same year he played the title role in the critically acclaimed Maqbool, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

His first Bollywood main lead role came in 2005 with film Rog. Thereafter he appeared in several films either playing the leading role or a supporting role as a villain. In 2004 he won the Filmfare Best Villain Award for his role in film Haasil.

In 2007, he appeared in the box office hits Metro, for which he received a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award, and The Namesake, which was a hit overseas. They were closely followed by his appearance in the international films A Mighty Heart and The Darjeeling Limited.

Even after becoming a successful actor in bollywood, he has not severed his ties with television. He used to anchor a show 'Mano ya na mano' (airing on Star One). He had hosted another programme called "Kya Kahen" which was on the similar lines of Mano Ya Na Mano like Superstition and Extra Sensory Perception etc.

In 2008, he featured as a narrator in an Arts Alliance production, id - Identity of the Soul. The performance is due to tour worldwide, this year tens of thousands turned out to see the event as it toured the West Bank. He also plays the police inspector in the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, for which he won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

He recently featured in the movie Acid Factory. According to Irrfan, he wants to do more and more action films ahead, in his career.

International recognition

His international recognition came when he portrayed the role of a Non Resident Bengali Professor in the USA in the lead role of the English movie The Namesake directed by Mira Nair. This movie was critically acclaimed by every important US newspaper. After this movie, he was a recognizable actor abroad. In fact, Khan was unknown until this movie made him a household name in India.

Personal life

Khan is married to writer Sutapa Sikdar who's also a NSD graduate and they have two kids named Babil and Ayan.Khan's Mother is Sayeeda Begum, from Tonk Hakim Family and Father Late Yaseen Khan Jagirdar of Khajuriya village near Tonk Dist. He has two Brother and one sister Imran Khan, Salman Khan and Rukhsana Begum. They are in Jaipur doing their own business Imran is in IT field and Salman is jewellery.



Film Name Year Role Other Notes
Salaam Bombay 1988 Letter writer
Drishti 1990 Rahul
Ek Doctor Ki Maut 1991
Such a Long Journey 1998 Gustad's dad
The Warrior 2001 Lafcadia - Warrior
Kasoor 2001 Public Prosecutor
Gunaah 2002 Police Inspector
Haasil 2003 Ranvijay Singh Won, Filmfare Best Villain Award, His rannvijay act & dialogues became a cult among his fans.
Footpath 2003 Sheikh
Maqbool 2003 Maqbool
Aan: Men at Work 2004 Yusuf Pathan
Charas 2004 Ranbhir Singh Rathore
Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets 2005 Pipi
Rog 2005 Inspector Uday Rathore
7½ Phere 2005 Manoj
Yun Hota To Kya Hota 2006 Salim Rajabali
The Killer 2006 Vikram/Roopchand Swaroopchand Solanki
Deadline: Sirf 24 Ghante 2006 Krish Vaidya
Sainikudu 2006 Pappu Yadav
A Mighty Heart 2007 Captain screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival
Life in a Metro 2007 Monty Won, Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.
The Namesake 2007 Ashoke Ganguli
The Darjeeling Limited 2007 The Father
Apna Asmaan 2007 Ravi Kumar
Aaja Nachle 2007 Farooque, Najma's husband
Partition 2007 Avtar
Road to Ladakh 2008
Sunday 2008 Kumar
Krazzy 4 2008 Dr. Mukherjee
Mumbai Meri Jaan 2008 Thomas
Slumdog Millionaire 2008 Police Inspector Won, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Dil Kabaddi 2008 Samit
Sunday 2008 Kumar
Acid Factory 2009 TBA
Billu 2009 Billu/Vilas Pardesi
New York 2009 Roshan (FBI Official)
New York, I Love You 2009 Mansuhkhbai
Paan Singh Tomar 2009 TBA
Right Yaa Wrong 2009 TBA
Bhopal Movie 2010 TBA


  3. Irrfan Khan at iloveindia
  4. Road of Ladakh Short Film
  5. Irrfan Khan goes to Hollywood,Rediff movies

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