Irfan Khan is from Jaipur, India. He was studying for his M.A. degree when he snagged a fellowship at (NSD) National School of Drama in 1984. After graduating in 1987, he moved to Mumbai. Theater and television kept him afloat till Mira Nair offered him a cameo in "Salaam Bombay". But the role was edited out of the final copy.
He continued to dabble in television making impacts on various soaps and tele-historicals series. To break away from television Irfan featured in few main stream movies but none of them were a box-office success.
He got his first break in movies with Mira Nair?s Salaam Bombay (1988). However his scene was deleted before the release. He was seen in Tapan Sinha?s Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1991) with Shabana Azmi which won the National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film among others.
But things changed when Landon 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.
"The Warrior" stormed in international film festivals making Irfan Khan a noticed actor. His first Bollywood main lead role came in the movie "Rog".
Following this, he was seen in several commercial ventures like Kasoor (2001), Gunaah (2002) and Haasil (2003). His role in the latter won him a Filmfare Best Actor in a negative Role Award. In Vishal Bharadwaj?s Maqbool (2004), an adaptation of Macbeth, he played the role of Macbeth.
Riding on his success, he acted in 7 ? Phere (2005) with Juhi Chawla and Naseeruddin Shah?s Yun Hota Tho Kya Hota (2006) about the 9/11 attacks.
Irrfan Khan was the chosen one for the 2007 release The Mighty Heart. It was based on a book by Marianne Pearl about the slaying of her journalist husband Daniel Pearl. The movie starred Angelina Jolie and Irrfan Khan as Javid Habib who is helping in the investigations of the journalist?s disappearance.
He was part of Anurag Basu?s Life in a Metro (2007) that won him the Best Supporting Actor Award. He worked with director Mira Nair and actress Tabu in The Namesake (2007), an adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri?s book by the same name. He won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance as Ashok Ganguly.
Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008)about the Mumbai train bombings in 2006 saw him as Thomas, a coffee vendor. The movie opened to positive reviews.
Danny Boyle?s Slumdog Millionaire (2009) won several awards internationally. He played a police inspector investigating a possible fraud when a boy from the slums wins on the television show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
His other releases in 2009 are Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra?s Delhi 6; Billu Barber with Shah Rukh Khan, based on the story of Krishna and Sudhama and New York about the 9/11 terrorist attack.
He is married to writer Sutapa Sikdar who's also a NSD graduate and they have a son named Babil.