Irrfan Khan: Life-History & Success Story

The Indian actor and the globally recognised talent for his unconventional looks, the actor who has no Godfather in Bollywood is none other than Irrfan Khan. He is the actor who made a name for himself brick by brick. The journey of fame from rag to riches has not been easy for him but his success speaks volume of his exemplary consistency and persistence.

Irrfan Khan


Irrfan Khan Childhood

Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan who is now known as Irrfan Khan was born on 7 January 1967 in Tonk, Rajasthan, India. He belonged to a Muslim Pathan family, his father was a wealthy Zamindar and owned a tire business. He also wanted his son to pursue his career in family business.


Irrfan Khan Early Days

While pursuing his MA degree, he managed to get a scholarship to study at National School of drama, New Delhi in the year 1984. Later, he moved to Mumbai and acted in numerous television serials like “Bharat Ek Khoj” in 1946, “Sare Jahan Hamara“, “Chanakya” etc. He also acted in the series named “Lal Ghat Par Neele Ghode” in which he played the role of Lenin and it was shot for Doordarshan.

Always Wanted to be a Cricketer

He became an actor by chance. Personally, he wanted to be a cricketer and was very passionate about the same but his parents did not appreciate his career.

Salaam Bombay

Irrfan Khan in Salaam Bombay

In National School of Drama, he lied about having the past theatre experience just to get in but finally in the last year at NSD 1988 Mira Nair choose him for a role in “Salaam Bombay (1988)“.

His First Lead Role

His first lead role was played by him in the movie “Rog” in 2005.

Milestones in Life

Irrfan Khan Honoured With Padma Shri

In 2015, he was appointed as the brand ambassador for resurgent Rajasthan by the Rajasthan state government. He was also honoured with Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour for his contribution in the field of Arts.

Awards From Film Fraternity

In 2012, he was honoured with National Film Award for Best Actor. In 2014, He also won Asian Film Award for Best Actor, three International Film Academy Awards and many others.

Solo Performance Rocked The Box Office

In 2017, the film with his solo performance “Hindi Medium” became a super hit at box office and gathered a lot of praise for the same. Irrfan Khan also won the 2017 Filmfare Award for Best Actor for the same.


Irrfan Khan With Family

He is married in 1995 to a dialogue writer Sutapa Sikander, who studied with him and now is the proud father of two sons Ayan Khan and Babil Khan.

Personal Life

Behind his charming looks, there is a person who loves reading books and expanding his knowledge whenever he gets time.

Typical Definition of Hero Was Not Followed by Him

Irrfan Khan managed to create a separate place for himself without following the conventional practice. Apart from acting as the hero he also played the bad guy roles and many other small roles and still did not typecast him.

“The Lunchbox” Only Indian Movie Winning TFCA

Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox

Irrfan Khan didn’t limit himself to a particular type of role and because of this versatility in his character, he did the movie “The Lunchbox (2013)” which is the only Indian movie to have won the Toronto Film Critics Association Award.

Adding an Extra R to His Name

It was his personal decision to add an extra “R” to his name and was not suggested by any numerologist.

A big Role in Interstellar

Not only because of his acting talent but also because of his commitment Irrfan Khan has made a good name in Bollywood. Because of his commitment to the movies “The Lunchbox (2013)” and “D-Day (2013),” he declined a big offer in the movie Interstellar as it expected Irrfan Khan to stay in the USA for a stretch of 4 months.

Recognition at The Global Level

It is said that Julia Roberts once stopped outside the Kodak theatre where Oscars were being staged, just to compliment Irrfan Khan on his brilliant performance in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire (2008)“.

First Bollywood Actor Who Acted in 2 Films That Won Academy Awards

Irrfan Khan in Life of Pi

Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008 and “Life of Pi” in 2012 are the two movies in which he acted and both won the Academy Awards.

Detained twice at Los Angeles Airport

Irrfan Khan has been detained twice at Los Angeles Airport because people assumed that his name is similar to that of a terrorist suspect but now he says they recognise me.

Shy Nature

He was born in a wealthy family but still during his days of struggle he had to do odd jobs like giving tuitions to kids or repairing air conditioners for the people. His classmates reveal that he was so shy that his teachers often scolded him for not being audible in the class.

Proved Himself in Films And Television Both

Irrfan Khan in In Treatment

Following the normal convention either a person makes success in movies or in films but Irrfan Khan made it all and broke the myth by earning success everywhere. In 2008, he managed to debut on the Western television with the show “In Treatment” which is an HBO original series.