RIP Irrfan Khan: Did you know he dropped Sahabzade from his name because he was ‘embarrassed’ of royal lineage?

Updated on Apr 29, 2020 04:12 PM IST

Irrfan Khan, born as Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan, was ‘embarrassed’ of his royal lineage since childhood, he had revealed on a chat show. Irrfan died on Wednesday after a long battle with neuroendocrine tumour.

Irrfan Khan’s mother Saeda Begum belonged to a royal family.
Irrfan Khan’s mother Saeda Begum belonged to a royal family.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

India lost a shining star - Irrfan Khan - when he died at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on Wednesday (April 29) after battling a long illness. The 53-year-old actor, who was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday for a colon infection.

Born as Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan, Irrfan had blue blood in his veins. His mother Saeda Begum belonged to the royal Tonk Hakim family. During an appearance on Son of Abish in 2017, he opened up about his royal lineage and said that he was ‘embarrassed’ of it.

Irrfan, who was from Jaipur, joked that there were too many people of royal heritage there and that is why he decided to drop ‘Sahabzade’ from his name. “There are too many people of royal lineage there. I was embarrassed of it since childhood. I don’t know why,” he told the show’s host, comedian Abish Mathew.

Irrfan, who started his career with television shows such as Chanakya, Bharat Ek Khoj and Chandrakanta, got his first leading role in Bollywood in the 2005 thriller Rog. He has been a part of acclaimed films such as Maqbool, Haider, The Lunchbox and Hindi Medium.

Also read: Irrfan Khan, actor extraordinaire and India’s face in the West, dies at 53

Irrfan also found success in Hollywood, with films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, The Amazing Spider-Man and Jurassic World.

The news of Irrfan’s death was shared on Twitter by filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, who directed him in Piku. “My dear friend Irfaan. You fought and fought and fought. I will always be proud of you.. we shall meet again.. condolences to Sutapa and Babil.. you too fought, Sutapa you gave everything possible in this fight. Peace and Om shanti. Irfaan Khan salute,” he wrote.

Several Bollywood celebrities including Amitabh Bachchan, Parineeti Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Karan Johar and Akshay Kumar mourned his loss on social media.

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