Kumar Vallabhdas Pallana born on 23 December 1918 was an Indian actor, Vaudevillian, and a yoga instructor. He is known for his roles like Pagoda, in the movie The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and Mr. Little jeans in the movie Rushmore (1998). He had also performed in TV shows like The Mickey Mouse Club and Captain Kangaroo as plate juggler. Pallana was born in a well-off family in Indore, India and his father was a car dealer. He had a comfortable childhood until the War of Independence started and his family lost everything. He was a trained gymnast and juggler which helped him to earn a source of livelihood during the hard times. He performed for Indian communities across Africa and later went to the US in 1946 to work in nightclubs as a plate spinner and juggler.
He had performed for a lot of nightclubs in cities like
, Paris, and Beirut under his stage name Kumar from India. His shows in Las Vegas were attended by eminent personalities like Sammy Davis Jr. and Harry Belafonte. He later settled with his wife and children in Dallas, Texas in the 1960s and opened a yoga studio there. His son Dipak worked with him in movies like Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Bottle Rocket, etc., and his daughter Sandhya has worked with him in the movie The Terminal and many others. His son had opened a Coffee house named the Cosmic Cup which was a frequent place for directors
to visit and write their movie scripts.
That's when they discovered him and casted him in their first movie The Bottle Rocket and it went on to him being cast in several other movies made by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson's movies. He has worked with several other directors like
. He starred in movies like
(2011), 10 items or less (2006), Today's special (2009), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), etc. He had also worked in Bollywood, in the movie Anjana Anjani (2011). Despite playing small roles, Kumar Pallana had created a place in the hearts of the audiences and movie critics. A documentary was also made on him in 2015 called KUMAR:MKE, which focussed on his involvement in the Milwaukee film scene. He passed away on 10th October 2013, he was 94 years old when he died in his home in Oakland, California, The United States of America in 2013.