Born to a feudal Nawab family, Saahebzaade Irfan Ali Khan, popularly known as Irrfan Khan is a well acclaimed Indian film actor. A symbol of hard work and persistence, Irrfan Khan has gained popularity for his work not only in Hindi cinema but also because of his contribution to British films and Hollywood. Acting comes naturally to Irrfan Khan. Though nobody in his family was in the entertainment field, yet Khan pursued acting as his passion since childhood. His dedication and passion paid off well. While he was pursuing his master's, he earned for himself a scholarship. This scholarship gave wings to Irrfan Khan’s dream of becoming an actor. He got a golden opportunity to study at the premium institute National School of Drama in New Delhi. As an actor, Irrfan Khan is always at par with the roles he is offered, be it a negative role, drama, biography or comedy. He has delivered aptly the demands of the role.
Irrfan Khan was born and brought up in Jaipur, Rajasthan. His mother Begum Khan, belonged to the Tonk Hakim family. His father, Late Jagirdar Khan who ran a tyre business was from a village named Khajuriya, near the Tonk district. Irrfan Khan excelled in cricket as well. His first biggest achievement in the field of cricket was when he was selected for the CK Nayudu Tournament. This tournament was held for the emerging players under the age of 23 years. This was Irrfan Khan’s stepping stone toward first-class cricket. But, was unable to capitalise on this opportunity due to a lack of funds. He then moved to Mumbai where he kick-started his acting on the silver screen. A glimpse of his talent was easily visible through the various television serials in which he acted. Irrfan Khan’s dream to work in films was realised when he was offered a cameo in Salaam Bombay in 1988.
In the 1990s, Irrfan Khan earned a chance to appear in two critically acclaimed films: ‘Ek doctor ki Maut’ and ‘Such a long journey, along with several other films, all of which went unnoticed. After many unsuccessful films which failed to propel Irrfan Khan’s career, finally, things changed for him. This happened when Asif Kapadia, a London-based director, gave Khan a lead role in ‘The Warrior’. It was a historical film which was picturised in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. By 2001, Irrfan Khan was a known face internationally, due to this movie which was screened in the international film festivals. Irrfan Khan’s first lead role in Bollywood came in the year 2005 with the film Rog. His performance was very well appreciated by the critics. Thereafter, Irrfan Khan made appearances in several films either as a supporting actor or as a villain. Khan has many awards to his credit. He has been awarded the National Film Award and Filmfare Awards. For his contribution to the field of arts, Irrfan Khan was honoured with a Padma Shri, in 2011.
Irrfan Khan’s versatility in over fifty domestic films has given him much recognition. With a span of over thirty years in the acting field, Irrfan Khan has established himself as an effortless and multifaceted actor. He was praised by critics for his spectacular performance in the drama movies Haasil (2003) and Maqbool (2004). The turning point in Irrfan Khan’s career can be attributed to the movie Life in a Metro (2007) which brought several praises and accolades for him, including the Filmfare award for best-supporting actor. His career graph rose further when he played the role of Paan Singh Tomar in the biographical sports drama, Paan Singh Tomar (2011). Irrfan Khan’s comedy-drama Hindi Medium (2017) was a huge hit in India and China. These movies earned the title of highest-grossing Indian films of all time and made Khan earn the Filmfare award for best actor.