While Kal Penn, who’s known and loved for his chucklesome role of Kumar Patel in Harold and Kumar, and
Naveen Andrews, for his role in the American drama series ‘Lost,’ are recognizable as Indian character’s on American television, here’s a list of celebrities you probably had no clue were of Indian origin.
1. Cecelia Parekh a.k.a. ‘Cece’ on ‘
Hannah Simone plays the role of Cece, a voluptuous, foxy model, bartender and Jess’s childhood best friend. Born to an Indian father in London, she has been brought up in Canada, Cyprus and
New Delhi before she graduated from school and then settled in Vancouver. She is proud of her dad who was born in free India in 1947 and praises him for being feminist and an inspiration. Although being a co-star on New Girl alongside
Zooey Deschanel, season 5 gives her greater space with central roles in many episodes, and we can’t wait for her Big Day with Schmidt coming up soon!
2. Mira Berenson on 'Homeland'
Sarita Choudhury plays the role of Mira Berenson, ex-wife of Saul Berenson, the CIA’s Middle East Division Chief in the American political thriller TV series ‘Homeland’. She is the child of Prabhas Choudhary, a Bengali Indian, and Julia Spring. She’s never been the type to act in a conventional Bollywood film as you’ll find her in varied characters and roles all the way from her debut film Mississippi Masala to Kama Sutra, Homeland and
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay series.
3. Ellaria Sand on 'Game of Thrones'
Ellaria Sand of Dorne, the illicit lover of Oberyn Martell, is played by
Indira Varma, an only child of a Hindu Indian father and a Swiss mother. Varma graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London She loves going beyond her boundaries and aims to act in every genre in her career.
4. Tom Haverford on 'Parks and Recreation'
Starting off with stand-up comedy at the age of 18,
Aziz Ansari, then took the role of an unpleasant energetic Tom Haverford. He’s a sarcastic, highly confident government official in the Parks and Recreations show. He was born in South Carolina to Indian parents nestling in Tamil Nadu. Now making a mark on Netflix, he has produced a hilarious 10 episode show ‘Master of None’ which explores how humans connect with each other.
5. Isabella on 'Galavant Karen'
David, with her amusing, sensual, and proficient skills in music and acting is best known for her character of Princess Isabella on the musical comedy series ‘Galavant.’ David was born in India, raised in Canada by her Indian-Jewish father and half-Chinese mother.
6. Fiona Glenanne on '
Gabrielle Anwar plays the role of former IRA operative Fiona Glenanne in Florida-based TV show ‘Burn Notice’. She’s fierce behind the gun barrels and explosions. She was born in Laleham, Surrey to Tariq Anwar her Delhi-born father, who is a brilliant film producer and editor. She studied drama and dance at an Academy of Theatre Arts in London. She witnessed stardom at a young age as she tangoed with
Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.
7. Dr. Rachel Scott on 'The Last Ship Rhona'
Mitra, renowned for being the Lara Croft model, plays the fierce role of Dr. Rachel Scott. The Last Ship is a tale where a global pandemic wipes out 80% of the planet’s population and the survivor’s including Dr. Rachel Scoot must find a cure to human extinction. She is the daughter of a Bengali-Indian, Anthony Mitra, and Nora Mitra. She is also a certified permaculture farmer who assists communities in Africa and South America to grow their own food. She is saving both worlds on and off screen.
8. Mohinder Suresh on 'Heroes Sendhil'
Ramamurthy plays the role of Mohinder Suresh. His character isn’t the typical Indian character of a terrorist, convenience store clerk, or a cab driver. He was born to Indian parents from South India who immigrated to San Antonio. He was out to join a pre-med college just like his parents but found interest in acting. His role in Heroes is like an anchor that brings everything together.
9. Divya Katdare on 'The Royal Pains'
Reshma Shetty is a daughter of Hindu Parents who migrated to Manchester. She plays the role of Divya Katdare, a physician assistant to the lead role. Her character is challenging and intense as she struggles with balancing a career and social life alongside being a mother. She also got a degree in opera performance and sang for the musical Bombay Dreams.
10. Neal Sampat on 'The Newsroom'
A U.K. native with Indian roots,
Dev Patel, is an unforgettable face of brilliancy with his performance in
Slumdog Millionaire where he gained the international spotlight. He plays the role of Neal Sampat on the American political thriller show and is a member of the News Night staff, responsible for writing the blog of the show's anchor Will McAvoy.