Firdous Bamji

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Firdous Bamji
Born Firdous Esadvaster Bamji
(1966-05-03) 3 May 1966 (age 51)
Bombay, India
Nationality American
Education St. Christopher's School, Bahrain, Kodaikanal International School, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, University of South Carolina
Occupation Actor/Writer
Spouse(s) Erin Thigpen (1990-95)
Partner(s) Hayley Mills (1997–present)

Firdous Bamji is an Indian-American actor and writer.

Early life[edit]

Bamji was born in Bombay, India, though his family didn't live there at the time.[1] They lived in Bahrain, where his father, Esadvaster, was the regional representative for Norwich Union Life Insurance Society. His mother, Roshan, was a homemaker, and both his parents were active in various local charities.[2][3][4] Bamji belongs to the Parsi community, ethnic Persians who left Persia for the west coast of India following the Arab Muslim invasions, in order to be able to continue practising their ancient religion, Zoroastrianism.[5][6]


Bamji attended St. Christopher's School, Bahrain, a British private school, till the age of ten. In 1977 he and his two brothers were sent to Kodaikanal International School, an American boarding school in the mountains of South India.[1] He later attended the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and the University of South Carolina, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in journalism and a Master of Fine Arts.


During his last couple of years in undergraduate school he began acting at Columbia's first professional theatre, Trustus, where the iconoclastic artistic director, Jim Thigpen[7][8] took him under his wing. At Trustus he played a variety of roles, including Pale in Burn This, Torch in Beirut, Danny in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Peter Patrone in The Heidi Chronicles and all the parts in Eric Bogosian's solo play, Drinking in America.[9]

After studying for an MFA in Theatre at USC, Bamji moved to Washington D.C. to finish his degree as an apprentice at The Shakespeare Theatre. In 1994 he was cast in Eric Bogosian's SubUrbia at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater, and he and his then wife, Erin Thigpen, sold the car and moved to New York City.[10][11]

Firdous Bamji & Hayley Mills at the opening night of Indian Ink; San Francisco

Bamji has appeared on stages in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles and major regional theaters around the United States. He has played leading roles in world and American premieres of plays by playwrights such as Tom Stoppard,[12][13] Tony Kushner,[14] Naomi Wallace, Rebecca Gilman and Eric Bogosian.[10]

In 2007 he was invited by director Simon McBurney to co-write and perform in a new play with the British company Complicite. The piece was to revolve around the relationship between two pure mathematicians who lived at the turn of the 20th century, the self-taught genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan and Cambridge University don, G. H. Hardy. Bamji had been interested in this story for a few years and was working on a film script when he was approached by McBurney.[15][16] The result was A Disappearing Number,[17][18] which won the Laurence Olivier Award and the Critics Circle Theatre Award for Best New Play and the Evening Standard Award for Best Play.[19] Over the next four years, A Disappearing Number toured Europe, Australia, India and the United States[20] and finished its universally acclaimed run at the Novello Theatre in London’s West End.[21]

Bamji's television credits include Law & Order and Law & Order SVU and his film credits include The Sixth Sense,[22] Unbreakable, Analyze That, Ashes, Justice and The War Within, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination.[23][24][25][26] In 2015 he received an Obie Award for his performance in Roundabout Theatre’s production of Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33] He has narrated more than twenty audio books, including The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky,[34] Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, Camille by Alexandre Dumas,[35] The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh,[36][37][38] and The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie, for which he received an Audie Award nomination.[39][40]

Personal life[edit]

Bamji lives in London with his partner, British actress Hayley Mills, who is twenty years his senior.


  1. ^ a b "Interview with Actor Firdous Bamji - Roundabout Theatre Company Official Blog". Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Celebrating a glorious past. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  3. ^ "Gulf Daily News » Local News » Sneha marks 20 years in style". 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Sneha marks silver jubilee |". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  5. ^ "PARSI COMMUNITIES i. EARLY HISTORY – Encyclopaedia Iranica". 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  6. ^ "ZOROASTRIANISM i. HISTORY TO THE ARAB CONQUEST – Encyclopaedia Iranica". 2005-07-20. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  7. ^ "A Final Season: Jim and Kay Thigpen". YouTube. 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  8. ^ "Jim and Kay Thigpen and the Trustus Legacy : Jasper". 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Evans, Greg (23 May 1994). "Review: 'Suburbia'". Variety. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "subUrbia - Who's Who: Shows | Lincoln Center Theater". 1994-08-28. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  12. ^ "Firdous Bamji’s Character the Soul of ‘Indian Ink’ | Global". 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  13. ^ "Stoppard's 'Indian Ink' leaves indelible mark". 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  14. ^ Simon, John (2004-05-31). "Homebody/Kabul - New York Magazine Theater Review". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Calvi, Nuala (2008-10-16). "A Disappearing Number review at Barbican Theatre London | Review | Theatre". The Stage. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  18. ^ Isherwood, Charles (16 July 2010). "Human (and Mathematical) Equations". New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  19. ^ "A Disappearing Number wins Best New Play". Official London Theatre. 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Carpenter, Julie. "Review: A Disappearing Number, Novello Theatre, London | Theatre | Entertainment | Daily Express". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  22. ^ "Picture of The Sixth Sense". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  23. ^ "Getting into the Spirit of awards season". 2005-11-30. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  24. ^ Robinson, Tasha (2005-10-05). "The War Within · Film Review The War Within · Movie Review · The A.V. Club". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  25. ^ "The War Within - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  26. ^ Atkinson, Michael (2005-09-20). "DV Suicide-Bombing Drama Lacks Narrative Urgency". Village Voice. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  27. ^ "Ben Brantley: The Tony Award Nominations Should Be ...". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  28. ^ "Review: 'Indian Ink' at ACT is Tom Stoppard mostly at his best". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  29. ^ "Indian Ink | Theater in New York". 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  30. ^ "'Indian Ink' by Tom Stoppard premieres in New York". New York Daily News. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  31. ^ Robert Feldberg (2014-10-01). "Theater review: 'Indian Ink' - Theater". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  32. ^ Gordon Cox (2015-05-18). "2015 Obie Awards (FULL LIST): ‘Hamilton,’ Henderson Win Awards". Variety. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  33. ^ "2015 Obie Award Winners Announced". Obie Awards. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  34. ^ "The Gambler (Audio Download): Fyodor Dostoevsky, Firdous Bamji, Recorded Books: Books". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  35. ^ "CAMILLE THE LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS by Alexandre Dumas Read by Alyssa Bresnahan John McDonough Firdous Bamji | Audiobook Review". AudioFile Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  36. ^ "Audio Book Review: The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh, Author , read by Firdous Bamji. Recorded Books $39.99 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4193-3694-2". 2005-06-06. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  37. ^ "THE HUNGRY TIDE by Amitav Ghosh Read by Firdous Bamji | Audiobook Review". AudioFile Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  38. ^ Hong, Terry. "The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh | BookDragon". Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  39. ^ "THE Voice of the Independent Publishing Industry". Independent Publisher. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  40. ^ "Voice Over Xtra". Voice Over Xtra. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 

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