Khan was born in Jaipur, Rajasthan, to a Muslim Pashtun family. Khan’s mother, Begum Khan, was from the Tonk Hakim family, and his father, the late Jagirdar Khan, was from the Khajuriya village near the Tonk district and ran a tire business.
On 23 February 1995, Khan married writer and fellow NSD graduate Sutapa Sikdar. They have two sons, Babil and Ayan. One of the most interesting facts that not known to many people is that he demanded as many as 11 rewrites from her wife when he was directing episodes of Banegi Apni Baat.
“Once he dragged me to a police station in Mumbai to understand the lawful procedure,” Sutapa Sikdar said. In 2012, he changed the spelling of his name from “Irfan” to “Irrfan” and has said he likes the sound of the extra “r” in his name.
In a film career spanning almost thirty years and featuring in more than fifty domestic films, Khan has received numerous awards, including a National Film Award and Filmfare Awards in four categories. Film critics, contemporaries and other experts consider him to be one of the finest actors in Indian cinema for his versatile and natural acting.
In 2011, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor for his contribution to the field of arts.
He made his screen debut with the Academy Award-nominated film Salaam Bombay! (1988). He received critical acclaim for playing negative roles in the drama films Haasil (2003) and Maqbool (2004), for the former he won the Filmfare Award for Best Villian.
The successful drama Life in a… Metro (2007) marked a turning point in Khan’s career, earning him praise and several awards including the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
His performance in the BAFTA Award-nominated romance The Lunchbox (2013) earned him universal acclaim by critics and audiences. Critically acclaimed comedy-drama Hindi Medium (2017), which became a sleeper hit in India and China, which ranks among highest-grossing Indian films of all time and earned him praise for his performance, winning several awards including the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
In February 2018, Khan was diagnosed with “undisclosed disease”, and it was speculated by many media outlets that he has “brain cancer”. After much speculation, the actor took to his Twitter account and announced that he would “share his story” in “a week – ten days” and asked the media and fans not to “speculate” anything. On 16 March 2018, Khan announced through a Twitter post that he is suffering from a neuroendocrine tumor. He traveled to London for treatment.