Kal Penn Biography, Age, Family, Education, Career, Net Worth, Marriage

Who is Kal Penn?

Kalpen Suresh Modi popularly known as Kal Penn is an American actor and former White House staff member in the Barack Obama administration. Penn is known as an actor for his role as Lawrence Kutner on the TV show House, and the character Kumar Patel in the Harold & Kumar movie series. He is additionally known for his appearance in the movie The Namesake and has taught as a visiting lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in the Cinema Studies Program.

Kal Penn

Kal joined the Obama administration as the principal Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement in April 2009. This facilitated that his character, Lawrence Kutner, be written out of House. He shortly left his post in June 2010 to film the third installment of the Harold & Kumar series, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, going back to his White House job upon the film’s completion.

Kal left again in July 2011 to take up a role in the TV series How I Met Your Mother. He portrayed Seth Wright in the political drama Designated Survivor, serving as a consultant on the show from 2016 to 2019. Penn also served as host of the game show Superhuman and portrayed Garrett Modi in the NBC sitcom series Sunnyside in 2019. In 2020, he went on to host a political talk miniseries on Freeform titled Kal Penn Approves This Message.

How old is Kal Penn?

Aged 44 as of 2021, Kalpen Suresh Modi was born on April 23, 1977, in Montclair, New Jersey, U.S. He shares his birthday with famous people which include Gigi Hadid, John Cena, Marco Borghi, William Shakespeare, Maximo Rivano, Warren Spahn, Shirley Temple, Michael Moore, among others.

Kal Penn Family

Who are Penn’s parents?

Kalpen Suresh Modi was born in Montclair, New Jersey to Asmita Bhatt and Suresh Modi, who are Gujarati Indian immigrant parents. His mother is a fragrance evaluator for a perfume company, while his father is an engineer. Penn’s mother was born in Baroda while his father is from Kaira. He often visited Gujarat as a child during holidays and can speak some Gujarati.

Does Penn have siblings?

Born to Gujarati Indian immigrant parents, Kal Pen was born in a family of two children. He has one sibling, a brother Pulin Modi.

Kal Penn Education

Kalpen joined and studied in Marlboro Middle School in Marlboro Township, New Jersey. He later joined The Fine and Performing Arts Academy as a Theater major at Howell High School for freshman year. Later he moved to Freehold Township High School for sophomore, junior, and senior years graduating in 1995. Both high schools are part of the Freehold Regional High School District. Modi attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated in 2000, and double majored in film and sociology.

Kal Penn Interests

Kalpen played baritone saxophone in the jazz band while in middle school and later in high school was active in school’s theater productions and competed on the Freehold Township public speaking team. He has also written a book titled You Can’t Be Serious published in 2020. Kalpen is of Hindu religion and a strict vegetarian.

Penn worked as a visiting lecturer in Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. His course was named ”Images of Asian Americans in the Media”. He was serving on a graduate certificate in international security from Stanford University in 2014. After winning the ”MasterChef Celebrity Showdown” on January 2, 2017, he donated the $25,000 cash prize to UNRWA. This is a United Nations relief and human development agency that supports Palestinian refugees.

Kal Penn

After a racist comment from a user on Penn’s Twitter feed on January 28, 2017, he crowd-funded a fundraiser for refugees of the Syrian Civil War and raised $813,533. This happened during President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13769, banning immigration to the United States from Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, and Iran regardless of visa status.

Kal Penn Partner

Kalpen stated on October 31, 2021, that he and his partner of 11 years, called Josh, are engaged to be married. He realized his sexuality to be gay, relatively late in life compared to others but is contented with it.

Kal Penn Kids

Penn has not been linked to any relationship in the past and recently came out as gay. He has no children of his own to date.

Kal Penn Residence

Actor, Modi presently resides in an apartment building in Los Angeles, the same building as director Christian Levatino.

Kal Penn Height

Actor, politician, Kal Penn has a well-built and muscular body with a height of 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) and a weight of 78 kg (172 lbs).

Kal Penn Career

Acting career

Kal’s feature movie debut came in 1998 in Express: Aisle to Glory. Since then he has appeared in American Desi, Van Wilder, the final episode of The Lonely Island, Dude, Love Don’t Cost a Thing. Also in Malibu’s Most Wanted, Where’s the Party, A Lot Like Love, Superman Returns, The Namesake, Epic Movie, the Harold & Kumar series, and an uncredited performance in Deck the Halls. In January 2007, he performed in the spoof comedy Epic Movie as well as the TV program Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He received the Asian Excellence Award in May 2007, for Outstanding Actor for his performance in The Namesake. Kal joined the cast of the Fox medical drama House as a fellowship applicant in late 2007.

E! reported that Kal had signed on as a regular on the program together with Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson, which was confirmed in the plot of the episode ”Games”. He went on with the series through to the episode ”Simple Explanation,” which aired on April 6, 2009. Additionally, he made an appearance as Lawrence Kutner on the fifth-season finale, ”Both Sides Now”, airing on May 11, 2009. Due to his new job at the White House, he could not avail himself of the filming of this episode. He came back to the show for the series finale.

2010 to 2015

Apart from his role on the television series House, Penn is well-recognized from his role in Harold & Kumar, as Kumar Patel. He portrays a pothead who goes with Harold Lee (John Cho) to White Castle for a hamburger. Unlike his character, Kal does not smoke marijuana, nor does he eat meat. He had a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother for the seventh season of the program, playing Kevin, a therapist and later boyfriend of Robin Scherbatsky. Kal hosted Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius on the Discovery Channel, beginning May 1, 2013. He joined the cast of We Are Men in 2013. After one year he was cast in Ravi Kumar’s film Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, a movie about the Bhopal gas tragedy, which was considered to be the world’s worst industrial disaster by many.

2016 to present

Kal Penn

Kal portrayed Detective Fontanelle White on the CBS comedy-drama Battle Creek, which was later canceled in its first season. He started a regular role in the ABC drama series Designated Survivor as Seth Wright in October 2016. Penn portrayed a White House speechwriter who initially served under the previous president’s administration in the film. After the death of the White House Press Secretary in the pilot episode and the acting press secretary left the job, his character gets promoted to the Press Secretary. He additionally worked as a political consultant for the series, and the program was renewed by Netflix for a third season, launched on June 7, 2019.

Kal has shown some interest in serving in Indian cinema, especially in Gujarati cinema. He was cast in the main role of Garrett Modi on the NBC comedy Sunnyside on March 7, 2019, and the series was ordered on May 6, 2019. However, the show was canceled after eight episodes were produced. He was later on May 9, 2020, cast as a lead on the 2021 CBS thriller drama series Clarice, a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs.

Political career

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Penn became an advocate for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008 and a member of Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee. He played in the Barack Obama-supporting video ”Si Se Puede Cambiar” by Andres Useche. Penn appeared alongside comedian George Lopez at ”We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” on January 18, 2009. He was offered the function of Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, which he took up. This led to his character Lawrence Kutner be written out of the television series House.

Penn worked with the Obama administration in his new role as a liaison with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities. He returned to using his birth name Kalpen Modi. Kal returned to his acting career on June 1, 2010, due to a commitment he made before his employment at the White House. He left his post as Obama’s associate director of public engagement, however on November 15, 2010, he came back to the office after completion of A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. Later Kal was a co-chair of Obama’s reelection campaign. He hosted coverage of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 3, 2012. His speech at the convention encouraged youth to register to vote and defended Obama’s record.

2013 to 2021

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Obama chose Penn to work on the Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities on November 18, 2013. He served as the Master of Ceremonies for the White House Student Film Festival on February 28, 2014. Kal later publically supported Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic nomination. He campaigned for Hilary Clinton following her becoming the nominee. Kal and other members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned in August 2017, in response to President Donald Trump’s remarks on the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, Kal showed interest in the messages of Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. Later he supported Joe Biden following his nomination.

Kal Penn Net Worth

American actor and former White House staff member from January 20, 2009, to August 20, 2011, Kal Penn, began acting in 1998. Heis also a chef, producer, and writer who has a net worth of approximately $18 million as of 2021.


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