OSCAR-WINNING film director Danny Boyle has paid tribute to Indian actor Irrfan Khan who as died at the age of 53.

The Bollywood star found fame in Hollywood in films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Life Of Pi and Jurassic World.

He died on Wednesday after he was admitted to Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital with a colon infection, his spokesman said.

Khan was diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine cancer in 2018 and underwent months of treatment in the UK.

Paying tribute, Radcliffe-born Boyle, who directed Khan in 2008's Slumdog Millionaire, said: “Irrfan was a wonderful actor and a pivotal figure in the making of Slumdog Millionaire.

"It wasn’t a huge role, in fact on paper it was even less rewarding looking. But Irrfan saw the possibility of guiding our audience with his dignity, his grace, his charm, his intelligence and his calmness, through this crossword puzzle of an idea, of a film.

“He also reassured one of our most significant partners on the film, Peter Rice of Fox Searchlight, who as a friend before he was involved in the film told me cast Irrfan Khan in it, whether there was a role for him or not, he said: ‘Just get that guy’.

“And then he said, he bought the film, he ended up buying the film and releasing it to put it on its trajectory towards the Academy Awards, and he was no doubt partly enticed by the fact that indeed we had got Irrfan Khan. So thank you Peter Rice, thank you Irrfan Khan for a match made in heaven”, Boyle said in a tribute to BBC by video-link from his home.

Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight—the most for any 2008 film—including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It won seven BAFTA Awards including Best Film, five Critics' Choice Awards and four Golden Globes.