Utkarsh Ambudkar Biography

Utkarsh Ambudkar
Popularity Index
Utkarsh Ambudkar
Quick Facts

Birthday: December 8, 1983

Nationality: American

Famous: Actors Rappers

Age: 36 Years, 36 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Born Country: United States

Born in: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Famous as: Actor, Rapper

Height: 5'1" (155 cm), 5'1" Males

Family:

father: Suresh V. Ambudkar

mother: Indu Ambudkar

Notable Alumni: Tisch School Of The Arts

City: Baltimore, Maryland

U.S. State: Maryland

More Facts

education: New York University, Tisch School Of The Arts, Thomas S. Wootton High School

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Utkarsh Ambudkar is an American actor and rapper of Indian origin who earned fame for his freestyle recap rap at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards. He performs with the hip-hop improv group 'Freestyle Love Supreme' under the name UTK the INC, and also went to Broadway with the group. He was part of a pop-rap trio called the 'Beatards' and has released several albums EPs as a musician. He appeared on television series such as 'The Mindy Project', 'The Muppets', 'White Famous', 'Bartlett' and 'Brockmire'. He did voice roles on 'The Simpsons', 'Harvey Street Kids' and 'Mira, Royal Detective'. He had supporting roles in 'Pitch Perfect', 'Freaks of Nature', 'Barbershop: The Next Cut', 'Blindspotting' and 'Game Over, Man!', and played the romantic leads in 'Basmati Blues' and 'Brittany Runs a Marathon'. He is slated to appear in films like 'Mulan', 'Free Guy', 'Marry Me' and 'Godmothered'. He also appeared in the 'Dungeons & Dragons' campaigns 'Force Grey: Giant Hunters' and 'Force Grey: Lost City of Omu'.
Rise to Stardom
Utkarsh Ambudkar, who got "really into hip-hop" listening to A Tribe Called Quest and Snoop Dogg, began performing freestyle and battle rap at clubs in the East Village neighborhood of New York in the night while pursuing his bachelor's degree from Tisch School of the Arts during the day. He occasionally had future actor and musician Donald Glover as his dorm-room freestyle partner. Following graduation, he was more interested in rapping than in acting, and was soon introduced to the improv-rap troupe 'Freestyle Love Supreme', which was started in 2003 by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale.
He performed for the troupe at Joe’s Pub, TEDxBroadway and on the Pivot TV network starting in 2005, and eventually went to Broadway with them. During the late 2000s, he also served as a VJ for MTV Desi and began appearing in films and on television series. He drew attention by beatboxing and rapping in the 2012 musical film 'Pitch Perfect' before playing Mindy Kaling’s younger brother and an aspiring rapper on 'The Mindy Project' in 2013. He appeared opposite Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson in the 2017 romantic comedy 'Basmati Blues', becoming the first South Asian to play a lead role in a Hollywood romantic film. He also appeared on television shows like 'White Famous', 'Bartlett' and 'Brockmire'. Despite such extensive list of credits, he first gained widespread attention after his improv rap performance at the Oscars went viral on social media on February 9, 2020. Within his short performance, he gave shout-outs to several celebrities, including some of the winners, reflected on his South Asian background and finished telling the audience to "Keep an open mind, I'm sure you'll find / there's plenty of light for us all to shine."
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Personal Struggles
As a brown-skinned person, Utkarsh Ambudkar was subjected to racism early on in his life when white children began using racial slurs against him, even using the N-word. However, he was befriended by the black children in his neighborhood. He also struggled with his heritage and even "stereotyped" himself in the image of the much criticized 'The Simpsons' character Apu to feel relatable and likable. During the early-to-mid 2010s, he was "a daily marijuana user" and succumbed to alcohol addiction, which was the combined result of him "being preoccupied" with "growing up as a brown person", "feeling unattractive and seeking validation of the opposite sex", his ego, and late night parties. He was unprofessional and too unreliable, which cost him the role of Aaron Burr in the breakout Broadway hit musical 'Hamilton', which he played during some early readings. However, he was able to get sober by 2014, and got his career back on track, and even though late, made his Broadway debut as a performer for 'Freestyle Love Supreme' in October 2019.
Family & Personal Life
Utkarsh Ambudkar was born on December 8, 1983, in Baltimore, Maryland, United States to Suresh and Indu Ambudkar (née Bashyam). He was raised in the suburbs where both his parents work as research biochemists at the National Institutes of Health. His parents, who met while studying in college back in Madurai in Tamil Nadu, India, had migrated to the US in the 1980s. He played basketball at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland, but began starring in comic roles after a wrist injury cut his sports dreams short. He moved to New York after completing school and obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2004. His family visits relatives in India regularly, and his Oscar suit with mirror-work on the cuffs was custom-made for him in India.
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Article Title
- Utkarsh Ambudkar Biography
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