Mindy Kaling is an American actress, writer, and producer. She is known for appearing in the hit sitcom ‘The Office’ as well as for starring in her own TV show, ‘The Mindy Project.’ This ‘Emmy’ award-nominated actress has also acted in a number of movies, such as ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ ‘License to Wed,’ ‘The Five-Year Engagement,’ and ‘No Strings Attached.’ She also co-wrote the famous play ‘Matt & Ben.’ A graduate of ‘Dartmouth College,’ Kaling used to contribute to a comic strip for her college’s daily newspaper. Very few people know that Kaling is also a voice actress. She has voiced many characters in her entertainment career. She has lent her voice to popular characters in movies like ‘Inside Out,’ ‘Wreck-It Ralph,’ and ‘Despicable Me.’ Kaling is one of the most popular female comedic personalities in Hollywood. She has received many honors and accolades till date. In 2012, she was named by ‘Time’ magazine in the list of ‘100 Most Influential People in the World.’ The following year, she was named in the list of ‘50 Coolest and Most Creative Entertainers’ in Hollywood by ‘Entertainment Weekly.’
Childhood & Early Life
Mindy Kaling was born Vera Mindy Chokalingam on June 24, 1979, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, to Swati, an obstetrician/gynecologist, and Avu Chokalingam, an architect. Her parents were from India. They met while working in a hospital in Nigeria. Kaling’s family moved to the US in 1979.
Kaling graduated in 1997 from ‘Buckingham Browne & Nichols’ in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A year later, she was enrolled at ‘Dartmouth College.’
At ‘Dartmouth,’ she became part of the college’s comedy troupe named ‘The Dog Day Players.’ She also wrote for the campus’ daily newspaper and humor magazine. In 2001, Kaling graduated from the college with a bachelor's degree in playwriting.
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Mindy Kaling interned on the sets of ‘Late Night with Conan O'Brien’ while she was still at ‘Dartmouth.’ She then made her acting debut in an off-Broadway play titled ‘Matt & Ben’ in 2002. She also co-wrote the play along with her friend Brenda Withers. This play was a huge hit and was named one of the ‘Top Ten Theatrical Events of The Year’ by ‘Time’ magazine.
In 2005, Kaling landed the recurring role of ‘Kelly Kapoor’ in the TV sitcom ‘The Office.’ The same year, she appeared in the series ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ as well as in her first film ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin.’
From the year 2006 to 2010, she did a few movies, including ‘Unaccompanied Minors,’ ‘License to Wed,’ ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,’ and ‘Despicable Me.’
In 2011, she was featured in the flick ‘No Strings Attached.’ In addition, she also published a memoir titled ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ which became a ‘New York Times’ best-seller.
In 2012, she appeared in the movie ‘The Five-Year Engagement’ and voiced a character in the film ‘Wreck-It Ralph.’ The same year, she also started her TV show ‘The Mindy Project.’
In 2014, the American actress appeared as herself in an episode of the show ‘Sesame Street.’
In the year 2015, she lent her voice to the movie ‘Inside Out’ as well as to the short film ‘Riley's First Date.’ She also portrayed the role of ‘Sarah’ in the flick ‘The Night Before.’ The same year, Kaling appeared in the episode ‘Single all the Way’ from ‘The Muppets.’ During this time, her second book titled ‘Why Not Me’ got published.
In 2018, she portrayed ‘Mrs. Who’ in the science fantasy adventure film ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ The same year, she also played ‘Amita’ in Gary Ross' heist comedy film ‘Ocean's 8.’
She was then seen in the 2019 American comedy-drama film ‘Late Night.’
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At the age of 24, Mindy Kaling joined the cast of ‘The Office’ and debuted in the show’s second episode ‘Diversity Day’ as ‘Kelly Kapoor.’ She co-wrote the episode ‘Niagara’ for which she was nominated for an ‘Emmy Award.’
She directed a few webisodes for ‘The Office,’ including ‘The 3rd Floor.’ She made her television directorial debut with the Season 6 episode ‘Body Language.’ On September 15, 2011, Kaling signed a new contract with the show and also became its executive producer.
Awards & Achievements
Mindy Kaling has received five ‘Emmy Award’ nominations for her contribution to the series ‘The Office.’
In 2012, she was named by ‘Time’ magazine in its list of ‘100 Most Influential People in the World.’ The following year, she earned a place in the list of ‘50 Coolest and Most Creative Entertainers’ of Hollywood by ‘Entertainment Weekly.’
In 2014, the actress was listed as one of the ‘Women of the Year’ by ‘Glamour’ magazine.
She received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from ‘Dartmouth College,’ Hanover, New Hampshire, on June 10, 2018.
Mindy Kaling is the daughter of Swati Chokalingam and Avu Chokalingam. She has a brother named Vijay Jojo Chokalingam who is an educational consultant. Kaling’s mother died in the year 2012 after suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Kaling was involved in a relationship with B.J. Novak whom she met while working for ‘The Office.’ The couple had an on-again, off-again relationship.
On August 15, 2017, this American actress announced her pregnancy. In December 2017, she gave birth to a baby girl and chose not to disclose the identity of her daughter's father.
Mindy Kaling is of Indian descent.
Her middle name ‘Mindy’ was taken from the television show ‘Mork & Mindy.’ This was the only show her mother used to watch in Nigeria while she was pregnant with her.
Kaling became the first female to join the writing team of ‘The Office.’
She once said that men want to have sex with her all the time. She also said that she used to face sexual harassment at her workplace every day.