Archie Panjabi

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Archie Panjabi
Archie Panjabi Cropped.jpg
Panjabi in 2011
Born Archana Panjabi
(1972-05-31) 31 May 1972 (age 41)
Edgware, London, United Kingdom
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Rajesh Nihalani (1998–present)

Archie Panjabi (born 31 May 1972) is an English actress, best known for her role as Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife. Her portrayal has earned her a Primetime Emmy Award in 2010 and an NAACP Image Award in 2012, as well as two further Emmy nominations, one Golden Globe nomination, and three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Her other notable roles include Asra Nomani in A Mighty Heart and Pinky Bhamra in Bend it Like Beckham.

Early life[edit]

Panjabi was born Archana Punjabi[1] in London,[2] to Govind and Padma Punjabi, both Sindhi Hindu immigrants from India. She graduated from Brunel University with a degree in management studies in 1996.[3][4][5] She is also classically trained in ballet.[5]


Panjabi has taken acting roles in both film and television, from early appearances in the 1999 comedy film East is East to the recent BBC television series Life on Mars. Her first Hollywood role, as a British diplomat, was in the Oscar winning The Constant Gardener, released in 2005. One of her highest profile film roles was in the 2002 comedy release Bend It Like Beckham. In 2007, Panjabi appeared with Angelina Jolie in the movie adaptation of A Mighty Heart, a book by Mariane Pearl, wife of the journalist Daniel Pearl, playing the role of former Wall Street Journal reporter Asra Nomani. Panjabi has also provided the voices for several characters in the British children's television animation Postman Pat.[6] Panjabi lent her voice to the video game Dead Space: Extraction. Panjabi appeared on the BBC Four World Cinema Award show in February 2008, arguing the merits of five international hits such as The Lives of Others and Pan's Labyrinth with Jonathan Ross and Christopher Eccleston. In 2009 she portrayed an MI5 agent in the French movie Espion(s), and in the same year she joined the cast of the new CBS television series The Good Wife as Kalinda Sharma. In 2010 she played Saamiya Nasir in the British comedy The Infidel. On 28 May 2012, she was cast as Paula Reed Smith, a pathologist, in BBC Two drama series The Fall.[7] Her main role on radio was that of Blaise in the BBC World Service series Westway.


Panjabi was appointed the first Pratham USA Ambassador representing the largest educational movement in India.[8] She is a celebrity participant in the Rotary International's "This Close" public service campaign to end polio.[9] In support of women's rights, she has partnered with Amnesty International to head their Stop Violence Against Women campaign to change the "no recourse to public funds" rule that traps women in a cycle of violence.[10] Panjabi walked in The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection Fashion Show on 9 February 2011, to increase awareness of the danger of heart disease, the number one killer of women.[11] Harvard University invited Panjabi to participate in their Artist in Residence Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to share her creative process as an actress.[12]


Panjabi at the 2010 Emmy awards

Panjabi's awards include an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2012),[13] Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2010),[14][15] 'Best Actress Award' at the Reims Festival (2005), the 'Shooting Star Award' at the Berlin International Film Festival (2005), the 'Best Actress Award' at the Mons International Festival (2005) and The Chopard Trophy at The 2007 Cannes Film Festival. She was named one of the Top 10 Faces on TV to Watch by Variety (2009), one of the 'Breakout TV Stars of the Year' by Entertainment Weekly (2010), one of the 'Top Young Power Women Under 40' by Verve Magazine (2011), one of GG2's Power 101 as Britain's 19th Most Influential and Powerful Asian (2011), one of the 'Best TV Characters of the Year' by MTV (2011), one of the year's 'Greatest Scene Stealers' by the New York Post (2011) and celebrated as one of 'eight Master Performers Who Turn Television into Art' by The New York Times Magazine.[16]

Personal life[edit]

At the age of 26, she married Rajesh Nihalani, a tailor.[17]


Year Film/TV Show Role Notes
1994 Siren Spirits Joyoti Episode: "Bideshi"
1995 Under the Moon Heena TV movie
1996 The Thin Blue Line Nazia Habib Episode: "Alternative Culture"
1997 Dad Guest Star Episode: "Dadmestic"
1999 East is East Meenah Khan
2000 Tough Love Chandra TV movie
In The Beginning Basya TV movie
Harry Enfield's Brand Spanking New Show Various Characters 12 episodes
2001 A Mind to Kill Lamisa Khan Episode: "Colour Blind"
Murder in Mind WPC Jill Evans Episode: "Vigilante"
The Bill Shanaz Arad Episodes: "Home Run" and "A Pound of Flesh"
Delilah Adult Pim
Ivor the Invisible Leila (voice) TV movie
2002 Single Voices Unknown Episode: "Little Englander"
Bend It Like Beckham Pinky Bhamra
The Secret Nadia's Probation Officer TV movie
Holby City Ali Safron Episode: "From This Moment On"
White Teeth Alsana TV movie
My Family Dental Assistant Episode: "Of Mice and Ben"
Arranged Marriage Shashi
2003 Cross My Heart Sumi
This Little Life Niala TV movie
Final Demand Farida TV movie
Code 46 Check In
The Canterbury Tales Clare Episode: "The Man of Law's Tale"
2003–04 Grease Monkeys Rita Dhillon 20 episodes
2004 Sea of Souls Megan Sharma 6 episodes
Yasmin Yasmin Best Actress Award (Reims Film Festival)
Shooting Star Award (Berlin Film Festival)
2004–06 Postman Pat Meera Baines (voice) 24 episodes
2005 Chromophobia Sarita
The Constant Gardener Ghita Pearson
A Very Social Secretary Ashley TV movie
2006 A Good Year Gemma
2006–07 Life on Mars Maya Roy Episode #1.1, Episode #2.6
2007 Lezioni di volo Sharmila English Title: Flying Lessons
I Could Never Be Your Woman Casting Girl
A Mighty Heart Asra Nomani Chopard Trophy
Silent Witness Amita Joshi Episodes: "Peripheral Vision: Part 1" and "Peripheral Vision: Part 2"
2008 Traitor Chandra Dawkin
2009 The Happiness Salesman Karen
Guillaume Canet's Espion(s) Anna
Personal Affairs Jane Lesser 5 episodes
The Good Wife Kalinda Sharma Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2010)
Nominated: Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2012)
Nominated: Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2011–2012)
Nominated: Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2010)
Nominated: Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2010–2012)
2010 The Infidel Saamiya Nasir
The Fall Tanya Reed Smith
2014 The Widower Simone Banerjee
2015 San Andreas Filming


  1. ^ Illahi, Khalid (15 June 2012). "Archie Panjabi, Exclusive chat for A Mighty Heart". London: Desi Club. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Blake, Heidi (31 August 2010). "Emmy-Awards 2010 How Archie Panjabi was told not to pursue her dreams". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Good Wife Cast: Archie Panjabi". CBS. 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Marianne Bevis, ed. (2003). Link: The Brunel University Alumni Association Newsletter: 16. 
  5. ^ a b "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 152.
  6. ^ "Archie Panjabi". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Munn, Patrick (28 May 2012). "The Good Wife Star Archie Panjabi Cast in BBC Two's 'The Fall'". TVWise. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Archie Panjabi Appointed as Pratham Ambassador" Pratham (25 August 2011). Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  9. ^ "Rotary shares Polio Eradication message". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  10. ^ AIUK : Violence against women: Movie star leads battle to overturn 'unjust' UK law. (28 February 2008). Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  11. ^ The Heart Truth Event Photos, HHS, NIH, NHLBI. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  12. ^ Archie named ‘Artist in Residence’ at Harvard. Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  13. ^ NAACP Image Awards 2012: Full list of winners – 02/18/2012 | Entertainment News from. (17 February 2012). Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  14. ^ "Emmy Awards 2010: 's success on night of British misery". The Telegraph Unlimited.
  15. ^ Pidd, Helen (30 August 2010). "AEmmy awards 2010: flies flag for UK". The Guardian (London). 
  16. ^ "Archie Panjabi". CBS. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  17. ^ Sears, Neil (31 August 2010). "British actress Archie Panjabi triumphs". Daily Mail (London). Archived from the original on 1 September 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 

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