Aarti Mann, also known as Aarti Majumdar, is an American actor who is best known for her portrayal of ‘Priya Koothrappali’ in the popular TV series ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ She is a first-generation Indian–American, born in Connecticut. Her stage name, “Mann” (from “Aarti Mann”), is an abbreviation of her married name, “Mankad.” However, she uses both “Aarti Mann” and “Aarti Majumdar” as her professional names. Though she started her career with minor TV and film roles, her acting career gained momentum in the mid-2000s. Apart from ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ her other notable works are ‘Leverage’ (2012), ‘Suits’ (2013), and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (2017). She has also been featured in commercials of major brands, such as international automobile manufacturer ‘Volvo.’ She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and continues to pursue her acting career.
Childhood & Early Life
Aarti Mann was born on March 3, 1978, in Connecticut, US, to immigrant parents. Her parents were both doctors. She is a first-generation Indian–American. Her mother, Vasanti Majumdar, is a gynecologist who graduated from the ‘University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,’ Pennsylvania. Her father was a physician and passed away while she was still in high school.
Her family moved from Connecticut to Pennsylvania and lived in Pittsburgh, Mt. Lebanon, and Wexford, before settling down in Fox Chapel, where she grew up.
Mann has two siblings. Her younger brother, Nishad, is a journalist, and her older sister, Kruti, is a filmmaker. According to her, all three siblings have “artistic” inclinations, as opposed to their parents, who were medical practitioners.
She studied at the ‘Shady Side Academy’ in Point Breeze and later graduated from the ‘New York University’ with a degree in film writing and direction. She first started exploring her potential as an actor at the university.
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She started her career playing the historical character of ‘Mirabai’ in the 2006 movie ‘The Memsahib,’ directed by her sister, Kruti. Mann states that Kruti was a huge influence behind her taking up acting as a career. Following her first project, Mann started attending acting classes in Los Angeles to hone her acting skills.
For the next few years, she worked in short films such as ‘The Punching Dummy’ (2007), ‘Ner Tamid’ (2009), and ‘Worker Drone’ (2011). Between 2007 and 2011, she also worked in a number of commercial movies, such as ‘Today’s Special’ (2009) and ‘Pox’ (2011). Her more recent works on the big-screen include ‘The Monogamy Experiment’ (2012), ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams’ (2015), ‘Love Sonia’ (2018), and ‘Sharon 1.2.3’ (2018).
Though she has acted in a number of movies throughout her career, none of them have been major box-office hits. Her career as a movie actor is stunted in a way, and her fame is largely dependent on her TV roles.
She is known for her guest appearances in highly popular TV shows. One of her first TV appearances was in an episode of ‘NBC’s ‘Quarterlife’ in 2008. This was followed by her appearance in ‘NBC’s science-fiction drama ‘Heroes’ in 2009. In 2010, she was cast in one of the episodes of the popular American soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless.’
In 2010, Mann was cast in the popular TV comedy series ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ which has been the most significant project of her career. The series featured her as ‘Priya Koothrappali,’ ‘Raj’s younger sister and ‘Leonard’s love interest. Her character was part of the storyline for 12 episodes, spread over seasons four and five.
She made two major guest appearances in 2012. She appeared in the eighth episode of the fifth season of ‘TNT’s drama series ‘Leverage,’ titled ‘The Broken Wing Job,’ as ‘Amy Pavali.’ The same year, she was cast as a ‘Harvard’ law graduate in the first episode of ‘USA Network’s popular legal drama ‘Suits.’ Mann made her first appearance in the 11th episode of the second season of the series, named ‘Blind-Sided.’
Between 2013 and 2017, Mann was seen playing short-lived but diverse roles in the comedy series ‘Wendell & Vinnie’ (2013), the political thriller ‘Scandal’ (2013), the military drama ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ (2015), and ‘ABC’s phenomenal medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (2017).
She has also narrated the audiobook of writer Kaavya Viswanathan‘s debut novel, ‘How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life.’
Mann has mostly been cast in minor roles throughout her career but has always managed to earn guest appearances in some of the biggest hits of the TV world. Needless to say, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is the highlight of her acting career, in which she had a recurring role that lasted over two seasons. Anybody who has been a fan of the show knows that her character was quite relevant to the storyline for those two seasons.
Family & Personal Life
Aarti Mann dated financial analyst Purvesh Mankad for a while before the two got married.
The couple has a daughter named Nikita, and the family presently lives in Los Angeles.
While she was working in ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ there were rumors of a real-life romance brewing between the reel-life couple Johnny Galecki (‘Leonard’) and Mann (‘Priya’). However, the rumors were allayed soon.
She is known to be fond of Indian cuisine, particularly non-vegetarian food and Punjabi dishes.