Kumar Pallana

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Kumar Pallana
Kumar Pallana.jpg
Kumar Pallana in 2006
Kumar Valavhadas Pallana

(1918-12-23)23 December 1918
Died10 October 2013(2013-10-10) (aged 94)
OccupationActor, vaudevillian
Years active1952–2013

Kumar Valavhadas Pallana (23 December 1918 – 10 October 2013) was an Indian American character actor and vaudevillian.[1] He performed on the Mickey Mouse Club as a plate spinner and juggler.[2]


Pallana moved to the United States in 1946 and spent 20 years performing around the country before settling down in Texas at his wife's insistence, and started a yoga studio.[3]

Pallana was married to Ranjana Jethwa and had two children, son Dipak and daughter Sandhya. His son Dipak created, owned and operated a cafe called the Cosmic Cup (now Cosmic Cafe)[4] in Dallas, where Kumar met director Wes Anderson and actor Owen Wilson. Anderson subsequently cast Pallana in his films Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited. Pallana also appeared in the Bollywood movie Anjaana Anjaani (2010) and the acclaimed independent film Another Earth (2011). A short documentary, KUMAR:MKE, about Pallana's connection to the Milwaukee film scene, was released in 2015.[5]


Pallana died on 10 October 2013 at his home in California at age 94.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Pallana's daughter Sandhya Pallana worked with him on The Terminal and other productions. His son Dipak, also an actor, appeared in films such as Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Viva Zapata! Soldier Uncredited
1996 Bottle Rocket Kumar
1998 Rushmore Mr. Littlejeans
2001 The Royal Tenenbaums Pagoda
2002 Bomb the System Kumar Baba
2003 Duplex Indian Restaurant Owner
2004 The Terminal Gupta Rajan
2005 Romance & Cigarettes Da Da Kumar
2006 The Gold Bracelet Dhinubhai
2006 RevoLOUtion Kumar
2006 10 Items or Less Lee
2007 The Darjeeling Limited Old man on train
2009 Karma Aur Holi DJ Rav
2009 Today's Special Shah
2010 Anjaana Anjaani Coast guard
2011 Another Earth Purdeep
2011 Hollywood Whores Magic Man
2011 Campus Radio Yogi
2012 Heavy Hands The Clerk
2014 Hamlet A.D.D. Kumar Posthumous
2019 Black Licorice Kumar Posthumous;
Final film role


  1. ^ Modell, Josh. "R.I.P. Kumar Pallana, star of several Wes Anderson movies". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  2. ^ Profile at OriginalMMC.com
  3. ^ a b c Fox, Margalit (16 October 2013). "Kumar Pallana, Who Went From Yoga to Film, Dies at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  4. ^ Cosmic Cafe
  5. ^ Wild, Matt (December 2015). "Watch a short film about Kumar Pallana and his unlikely ties to the Milwaukee film scene". The Milwaukee Record. Retrieved 30 August 2016.

External links[edit]