|Born:||Kalpen Suresh Modi|
April 23, 1977
Montclair, New Jersey, USA
Kal Penn (born April 23, 1977; age 42), born as Kalpen Suresh Modi, played Ahmed Amar in Season 6 of 24. He is best known as Kumar of the Harold and Kumar comedy movie franchise as well as for his supporting roles on shows such as House and Designated Survivor.
Kal Penn was born as Kalpen Suresh Modi in Montclair, New Jersey. His mother is a fragrance evaluator for a perfume company, and his father is an engineer. Both of them are Gujarati immigrants from India. Penn is a vegetarian.
Penn attended Marlboro Middle School in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, and played baritone saxophone in the jazz band there. Penn also attended The Fine and Performing Arts Academy at Howell High School for freshman year. After that, he transferred to Freehold Township High School for the remainder of high school. He was active in the schools' theater productions and also competed on the forensics team. After high school, Penn attended UCLA completing a double major in Film and Sociology. In 2014, he was also en route to complete a Graduate Certificate in International Security at Stanford University.
Penn started his acting career in 1998, appearing in the short film Express: Aisle to Glory. After that, he has appeared in films like American Desi (with Rizwan Manji, Anil Kumar, and Sunil Malhotra), Badger (with Kiran Rao), Love Don't Cost a Thing, Ball & Chain (also with Malhotra), Superman Returns, Van Wilder and its sequel, and Epic Movie. However, Penn is more known for his role as Kumar Patel in the Harold & Kumar film series. He first played the role in the 2004 film Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (with Shaun Majumder). He reprised the role in two sequels, as well as in several shorts.
Aside of films, Penn is also known for his lead role on House, from 2007 to 2012. He has also appeared in shows like Spin City (with Lana Parrilla), ER (with Paul McCrane and Eriq La Salle), NYPD Blue (with Esai Morales), The Agency (with Gil Bellows, Marc Casabani, Shaun Duke, and Will Patton), and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (with Navid Negahban). He has also had recurring roles on Battle Creek and How I Met Your Mother.
In 2008, Penn was a visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania. The undergraduate course he taught was titled "Images of Asian Americans in the Media". In April 2009, he announced that he was leaving acting to work as the Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement under the Barack Obama administration. He served in the position until 2011. However, he has continued to serve on various government and political jobs.
Since 2017, Penn has been a member of the lead cast of Designated Survivor, which stars Kiefer Sutherland. The show also features appearances by numerous 24 alumni like Reed Diamond, Mykelti Williamson, Kevin McNally, Geoff Pierson, Peter Outerbridge, and others.
Role on 24 Edit
Penn played the role of Ahmed Amar in Season 6 of 24. Amar was a civilian that worked with Abu Fayed during the terrorist attacks of the day. Penn was credited as a guest star and appeared in a total of four episodes.
24 credits Edit
Selected filmography Edit
- The Ashram (2018)
- Better Off Single (2016)
- The Sisterhood of Night (2014)
- A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
- Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (2008)
- Epic Movie (2007)
- Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (2006)
- Superman Returns (2006)
- Son of the Mask (2005)
- Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
- Love Don't Cost A Thing (2003)
- Van Wilder (2002)
- Sunnyside (2019)
- Designated Survivor (2016-present)
- Battle Creek (2015)
- How I Met Your Mother (2011-2012)
- House (2007-2012)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2007)
- Tru Calling (2003)
- The Agency (2001)
- ER (2001)
- Angel (2001)
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch (2000)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)