Who is Kunal Nayyar?

British actor and producer Kunal Nayyar was born in Hammersmith, London, England, on 30 April 1981, making Taurus his zodiac sign. He’s appeared in 31 TV series and movies, and is perhaps known best for portraying one of the main characters, Raj Koothrappali in all the 280 episodes of the critically acclaimed sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”, which Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre created, and which also starred Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki. It follows the lives of two socially awkward physicists, and a woman who’s just moved across the hall from them; the series aired from 2007 through 2019 and won 79 of its 333 award nominations.

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Education and early life

Kunal spent the first three years of his life in Hammersmith, where he was raised by his Indian Punjabi immigrant parents; the family then moved back to New Delhi, India where his parents had jobs.

Kunal wasn’t interested in acting while living in India, but was rather into playing badminton; he studied at St. Columba’s School and was on its badminton team, while he also enjoyed playing soccer and tennis with his peers.

Upon matriculating in 1999, Kunal moved to Oregon USA, and enrolled at the University of Portland, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2003; it was while at the university that he fell in love with acting, as he appeared in a number of plays and began taking acting lessons.

He took part in the American College Theater Festival, which motivated him to enroll at Temple University, from which he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting in 2005.

Roles in movies

Kunal’s debut film role was playing Pizza Man in the 2004 romantic comedy “S. C. I. E. N. C. E.”, and his following role came in 2011, when cast to appear in the music video “Barenaked Ladies: The Big Bang Theory Theme”.

He voiced Gupta in the critically acclaimed 2012 animated adventure comedy “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, which Michael Thurmeier and Steve Martino directed, and which starred John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Ray Romano. It follows Sid, Diego and Manny as they’re using an iceberg as a ship now that their continent has been set adrift; the film won two of its 13 award nominations. The year 2012 saw Kunal star in the short comedy “… or Die”, and play Karim in the 2014 mystery science fiction thriller “The Scribbler”.

The year 2015 saw him play Serge Negani in the thriller “Consumed”, which Daryl Wein wrote and directed, and which starred Beth Grant, Victor Garber and Zoe Lister-Jones. It follows the life of a mother whose son has a persistent rash, and the movie won a 2016 Cinema Verde Film Festival Most Revealing Award.

Kunal’s also known for playing the supporting character Dr. Robin Sathi  in the 2019 drama “Sweetness in the Belly”, directed by Zeresenay Mehari, and which starred Wunmi Mosaku, Rafael Goncalves and Dakota Fanning. It follows a British girl who was abandoned in Africa, and now has to flee for England during civil war; the movie won one of its two award nominations.

Kunal’s three most recent film roles have been in the 2020 short animated comedy “Tiny Diamond Goes Back to School” (voice role), the 2021 animated adventure comedy “Trolls Holiday in Harmony” (voice role) and the 2022 comedy “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry”; he’s currently shooting for the upcoming movies “Spaceman” and “How to Date Billy Walsh”.

Roles in TV series

Kunal’s debut TV series role was portraying Youssef Zidan in the 2007 episode “Suspicion” of the crime mystery “NCIS”, and his following roles came in 2010, when cast to appear in an episode of the comedies “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “CollegeHumor Originals”.

In 2013 and 2014, Kunal portrayed Neal and Sanjay in two episodes of the popular comedy “Sullivan & Son”, which Steve Byrne created, and starred in alongside Christine Ebersole and Brian Doyle-Murray; it follows Steve Sullivan who’s quit his job as a corporate attorney and has begun running his father’s bar.

From 2013 through 2016, Kunal voiced Vijay Patel in the animated adventure comedy “Sanjay and Craig”, created by Jay Howell and James Dirschberger, and which also starred Maulik Pancholy and Chris Hardwick. It follows the adventures of Sanjay Patel and his pet snake Craig –  the series was nominated for six awards.

Kunal’s three most recent TV series roles have been in the 2020 episode “Sandeep” of the crime mystery “Criminal: UK”, four episodes of the 2021 animated family adventure “Mira, Royal Detective” (voice role) and all the eight episodes (lead role) of the 2022 crime thriller “Suspicion”.

Other credits

Kunal received special thanks for the 2012 short comedy movie “Say It Ain’t Solo”.

He produced the 2013 biographical sports documentary movie “Beyond All Boundaries” and the 2022 comedy movie “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry”.

Some of Kunal’s recent talk-show appearances have been in “The Jennifer Hudson Show”, “Hollywood First Look” and “Made in Hollywood”.

Awards and nominations

Kunal’s won one of his 10 award nominations: a 2020 CinEuphoria Merit – Honorary Award, for his and his colleagues’ performance in “The Big Bang Theory”.

Kunal and his colleagues were also nominated for six Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series from 2012 through 2017, for “The Big Bang Theory”, and he was nominated for a 2021 BAFTA Award for Supporting Actor, for his performance in “Criminal: UK”.

Love life and marriage

Kunal’s quite secretive when it comes to speaking about his love life in public, however, it’s still widely known that he’s been a married man for over a decade now.

Kunal and Indian actress and model Neha Kapur exchanged vows in India in December 2011, in a large ceremony attended by many of their friends and family members. Neha was 2006 Femina Miss India, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in fashion design from the Pearl Academy and is also a professional dancer.

Kunal and Neha have no children together, and this is believed to be because they’re both focused on their careers.

Kunal’s yet to mention other women whom he’s perhaps dated, is married to Neha Kapur as of April 2023, and doesn’t have children.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Kunal loves attending Comic-Cons, and has revealed that fans of the series “The Big Bang Theory” whom he met there were all affectionate.

He has his own dialect, which is a mix of Indian and British English.

Kunal’s revealed that he’s both claustrophobic and afraid of heights.

He knows many details about the film franchises “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars”, but isn’t familiar with the series “Star Trek”.

Kunal’s a huge fan of video games – he voiced Gupta in the 2012 game “Ice Age: Continental Drift – Arctic Games”.

He’s an Instagram star, as nearly three million people are following Kunal on the network today, while he’s posted over 800 pictures, with most of these showing him during his everyday life.

Kunal’s favorite actor, is Joe Pesci, and some of his favorite movies include “8 Heads in a Duffel Bag”, “With Honors” and “The Irishman”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Kunal’s age is 42. He has brown eyes and black hair, is 5ft 7ins (1.71m) tall and weighs around 150lbs (69kgs).

Kunal’s net worth’s been estimated at over $45 million, as of April 2023.

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