A natural performer, Nayyar began acting in musicals and plays at a young age. After high school, he left India for the United States where he majored in business and took many acting classes at the University of Portland. In his senior year, he was invited to the American College Theater Festival (ACTF) to compete in an acting competition where he eventually won the Mark Twain Award for comic brilliance as well as a fellowship to the prestigious Sundance Theater Lab. He went on to receive his Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) from Temple University in Philadelphia. Nayyar ‘s humorous memoir, Yes My Accent is Real, recounts his journey.
While Nayyar is best known for his role as astrophysicist Raj on the CBS comedy, he's also lent his voice to animated projects including Family Guy, Glenn Martin DDS, and the FOX feature Ice Age: Continental Drift. In 2013, Nayyar narrated and co-produced the documentary Beyond all Boundaries, which takes a look at several cricket fans as the Indian team plays for the 2011 World Cup.
His energy and humor make him an ideal speaker at colleges across the country, where audiences are eager to get an inside look from the center of popular culture.
- From New Delhi to Hollywood: Navigating Life Through Humility
You could say everything Kunal Nayyar needed to know for Hollywood success he learned in college. But his road from life of a student to life of an actor wasn't always a smooth one, with many of his struggles similar to those that all students face in the new world of school. The India-to-America culture shock Nayyar experienced was subtle but amusing -- the insane varieties of milk at the grocery store, his inability to "dress cool" for class and parties, and his failure to read dating signals. Nayyar eventually settled in, however, and he credits the sense of community he felt on campus as the gateway to his path to Hollywood success. Nayyar's wry, outgoing sense of humor puts audiences at ease as he opens up about the relatable difficulties all students face -- and why everyone should take advantage of the new experiences that come with college life.