Born Vera Chokalingam, Mindy Kaling is best known for playing the bubbly, celebrity-obsessed Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s hit The Office since 2005. Kaling is also a co-executive producer and writer on the show. She has been featured in Entertainment Weekly’s list of the “10 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood” and Rolling Stone’s “Hot List.”
Although her parents are from Inida, Kaling was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She attended Dartmouth College where she was a member of the improv-comedy group, “The Dog Day Players” and sang in the a cappella group “The Rockapellas.” Kaling also perused her comedic talents in print, as the creator of the comic strip “Badly Drawn Girl” in The Dartmouth daily newspaper and as a writer for the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, the college’s humor magazine. After she graduated in 2001, Kaling co-wrote and starred as Ben Affleck in “Matt & Ben” (2003), a play that showed at P.S. 122 in the East Village. It was named one of Time magazine’s “Top Ten Theatrical Events of the Year.”
Kaling began showcasing her wit on the small screen in 2005 with appearances on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm where she played Richard Lewis’s assistant, around the same she landed her role on The Office. She also wrote for an episode of Saturday Night Live in 2006. It wasn’t until her role in the huge hit, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, that she broke into film. This was followed by roles in more films such as Unaccompanied Minors, License to Wed, Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian, and in No Strings Attached starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. Kaling also had a small part in the animated comedy Despicable Me, which starred her Office costar, Steve Carell.
Kaling most recently published a comic memoir called Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) that she promoted on the October 21 episode of The Daily Show with John Stewart. One of her upcoming projects is her role in the 2012 film, The Five-Year Engagement.