Comedian Kunal Nayyar was born in London, England, but spent most of his childhood in New Delhi, India. He’s been inclined in performing since he was young, appearing in several stage productions during his high school years. Upon graduation, he left for the United States to take a business degree at the University of Portland. He never turned his back on acting; he took many acting lessons during his stay, and also appeared in school plays. During his senior year, his performance in a school production of The Rose Tattoo got the attention of the American College Theater Festival, who invited him to compete in a competition they organized.
In the end, Nayyar won that competition, and left with the Mark Twain Award and a fellowship to the prestigious Sundance Theater Lab. Upon his graduation, he took up an MFA degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. He then started appearing in several plays internationally; he was awarded a Garland Award for his role in the Los Angeles production of Huck and Holden. He also appeared in a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost in Stratford-upon-Avon, England—the hometown of the play’s writer, William Shakespeare. He wrote the critically-acclaimed play Cotton Candy, which has received success in New Delhi.
Nayyar debuted on screen in 2004, playing a bit role in the romantic comedy S.C.I.E.N.C.E. After playing a guest role in the military drama NCIS, he got his first regular television role in 2007, when he joined the cast of the comedy The Big Bang Theory. He played the role of Rajesh Koothrappali, an astrophysician who happens to be the best friend of Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg). Unlike his friend, however, he is very shy around women, except perhaps when he is drunk, during which he gets to talk to girls like Penny (Kaley Cuoco) for an extended period.
- He graduated from the University of Portland, Portland, OR with a B.S. in Business.
- He also has a Master's in Fine Arts from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.