Kalpen Modi, better known professionally as Kal Penn, is an Indian-American actor, producer, college instructor, and former US government official. As an actor, Kal is known for his role as Kumar Patel in the comedy film series Harold & Kumar. On the small screen, he is also known for his role as Lawrence Kutner in the medical drama house at Fox.
The former civil servant took a short break from his acting career from 2009-2010, during which he served under the administration of former US President Barack Obama. He also served on the Committee on Arts and Humanities of the President of the United States from 2013 to 2017. In 2016, the talented actor was cast in the role of Seth Wright in the two-season ABC political drama Designated Survivor.
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Kal Penn Biography (Education)
Kal Penn was born on April 23, 1977, in Montclair, New Jersey, as Kalpen Suresh Modi. He received his early education at Marlboro Middle School in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, and his high school education as a theater major at Howell High School, but later moved to Freehold Township High School.
He received his college education at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. In 2000 he graduated with a double major in film and sociology.
In 1998 Kal Penn made his film debut in the short comedy film Express: Aisle to Glory, followed by the Indian-inspired film American Desi in 2001. He has continued to expand in the comedy genre with roles in films such as Van Wilder (2002), Malibu’s Most Wanted (2003), Dude, Where’s the Party? (2003), Love Don’t Cost a Thing (2003) among several others.
In 2004 Kal Penn succeeded in his groundbreaking role as Kumar Patel opposite Jon Cho (Harold) in the first Harold & Kumar movie. The role has since evolved into a multi-movie series in which Penn has retained his starring role. The talented actor also played the lead role in the critically acclaimed film The Namesake (2006), for which he received the 2007 Asian Excellence Award for Outstanding Actor. Penn joined the cast of Fox’s medical drama series House in 2007, starring Dr. Lawrence Kutner.
After 2 seasons in House, he took a break from acting after his appointment to the civil service under President Obama’s administration. He later returned to the show in a guest role in the 2012 series finale. Kal Penn had a recurring role as Kevin in How I Met Your Mother Season 7, and he also starred in the lead role of the political drama Designated Survivor, starring speechwriter Seth Wright for the White House.
In addition to acting, Kal Penn was also successful as a civil servant under his birth name Kalpen Modi. In 2008, he was already a lecturer in Asian-American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2009, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Office of Public Engagement at the White House and became a member of President Barack Obama’s administration. Following Obama’s successful re-election, Kal was appointed a member of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities in November 2013. Penn resigned from this office in August 2017 along with other members of the Committee.
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His Family and Background
Kal Penn was born in the United States as the son of Asmita and Suresh Modi. His father worked as an engineer, while his mother worked as a consultant for a perfume company.
Both his parents were Indian immigrants from the West Indian state of Gujarat. As an adolescent, Kal Penn visited India regularly, and therefore he speaks his native language Gujarati quite fluently.
Wife or Girlfriend; Is Kal Penn Gay?
The actor is currently unmarried, but it remains unclear whether he is in a relationship. This aspect of his private life has been very well guarded over the years, which has led to several speculations about the Hollywood star.
On several occasions, Penn was romantically involved with some of his acting costars, but they were nothing more than perfect chemistry on screen.
Because of Kal Penn’s closely-guarded private life, there have been several speculations about his sexuality, many of which suggest that he is gay. However, these suspicions remain unconfirmed, as the Hollywood actor never expressed himself in this sense.
Height and Body Measurements
Kal stands at a height of 178 cm (5 feet 10 inches) and has a body weight of 78 kg (172 lb). The bone-hard Hollywood stallion has retained a slender build over the years and has matured like a fine wine. His body measurements are 45-15-32 inches (114-38-81 cm).