Irrfan Khan (Hindi: इरफ़ान ख़ान, Urdu: عرفان خان) is an Indian actor in film, television and theatre. He received international recognition for his roles in The Namesake (2007), Haasil (2003) and A Mighty Heart (2007).
Irrfan Khan was born and brought up in Jaipur, India. His full name is Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan. He was studying for his M.A. degree when he earned a scholarship to study at National School of Drama (NSD) in 1984.
After graduating in 1987, Irrfan moved to Mumbai, where he acted in numerous television serials like 'Chanakya', 'Banegi Apni Baat' and 'Chandrakanta' (Doordarshan), 'Star Bestsellers' (Star Plus), 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 did acting in some episodes of Star Best-Sellers (aired on Star-Plus). In one episode, his role was of a parchoon shopkeeper who has a misconception that his landlord's wife is trying to seduce 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 Pradesh and Rajasthan. 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 reviewsat 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 win 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 award for suporting actor and The Namesake which was one of the biggest hits overseas, 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).
Irrfan Khan is married to writer Sutapa Sikdar, also an NSD graduate, and they have two sons.