Kal Penn is an actor, producer, educator, chef, and civil servant. He became known playing Lawrence Kutner on the television program House and as Kumar Patel in the film series Harold & Kumar. Other roles include his critically acclaimed role in The Namesake.
Kalpen Suresh Modi was born in 1977 in Montclair, New Jersey. He was part of a jazz band in middle school. He later graduated from Freehold Regional School District where he had been active in theater. He had, also, competed on the Freehold Township forensics team. He next attended and graduated from UCLA in 2000 with a double major in film and sociology.
His debut film role was in 1998’s Express: Aisle to Glory. More movie roles and television roles have followed. In 2008, he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. He took breaks from acting to be a public servant. He was in office as the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He served from 2009 until 2011.
He has since returned to acting. Kal has had other service roles and was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2013. In 2014, he served as Master of Ceremonies for the White House Student Film Festival. In 2017, he won the “MasterChef Celebrity Showdown”. He donated his cash winnings to Palestinian Refugees. He then crowd-funded a fundraiser for Syrian Refugees.
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