Kunal Nayyar ’03, actor staring in the CBS television comedy The Big Bang Theory, returns to the University of Portland on October 11



Performing and Fine Arts

September 20, 2017

Kunal Nayyar ’03 is returning to the University of Portland campus on Wednesday, October 11 at 5 p.m. to talk about his career, his life, and his time attending the University. The conversation will take place in the Chiles Center on the UP campus. This event is free and open to the public.

On the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory, Nayyar stars as Rajesh Koothrappali, a brilliant astrophysicist who suffers from an inability to talk to women. Nayyar landed this role in 2007 and has remained a cast member since the show’s premiere.

The actor was born in London and grew up in New Delhi. With his brother already attending college in Portland, Nayyar says that he chose to go to the University of Portland because of its good reputation. He also liked the small class sizes and felt the professors were approachable. Theatrical productions at the University are open to all students, so although he majored in business administration, Nayyar decided to pursue acting as well.

Nayyar appeared in several theatrical productions during his undergraduate studies. In his senior year, he was nominated as best actor in the University production of The Rose Tattoo and earned an invitation to compete at the American College Theater Festival where he won the Mark Twain Award as well as a fellowship to the Sundance Theater Lab.

After earning his master’s degree in fine arts from Temple University, he appeared on stage in Huck and Holden at the Dahlia Theater in Los Angeles for which he won the Garland Awards’ Best Male Lead in a Play on the West Coast. He also appeared in Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Along with his 10-year stint as Rajesh in The Big Bang Theory, Nayyar has appeared in several television shows and has done voice acting in film, playing the role of Gupta in Ice Age: Continental Drift and voicing the role of Guy Diamond in the film Trolls.

Nayyar has returned once previously in 2011 to the University campus, visiting with students and former professors, and spending time posing for photos and signing autographs. This is his first appearance on campus that is open to the general public.

For questions and inquiries, please email events@up.edu.


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