Pooja Kumar in 2012
4 February 1977|
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
|Occupation||actress, model, television presenter, producer|
Pooja Kumar is an American actress, producer, model and television hostess. She was crowned Miss India USA and has been a VJ for Channel V, a newsreader on the show Namaste America and has starred in such feature films as Kadhal Rojave, Night of Henna, Flavors, Hiding Divya, Park Sharks, Bollywood Beats, Man on a Ledge, Anything For You, Vishwaroopam and Uttama Villain'
Pooja was born into a Mathur family in St. Louis, Missouri. Her parents are immigrants from India; her father is from Dehradun and her mother is from Lucknow. She attended Washington University where she graduated with degrees in political science and finance. Kumar is also trained in the Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, and Kathak forms of Indian classical dance. She was crowned Miss India USA in 1995.
Pooja Kumar first signed on to appear in director K. R.'s Tamil film Kadhal Rojave in 1997 alongside George Vishnu, but the film's production delays meant that it only released in 2000 and her stint as an actress in the Tamil film industry went unnoticed. She was earlier signed and then left out of the 1997 film V. I. P, while she had also signed to appear alongside Karthik in Chithra Lakshmanan's Chinna Raja, but was eventually dropped from the film.
Pooja produced a short film, "1001 Auditions", that has been selected in eight film festivals, including being nominated for "Best Short" at the Stuttgart Film Festival in Germany. She has also produced a short film called "Shoot My Life". Pooja has also been seen in national TV commercials for Bombay Dreams, Verizon, Dodge, Pearle Vision, New York Lottery, Tata True Roots, AOL Time Warner, and Outback Steakhouse.
In 2003, she received the Screen Actors Guild Emerging Actress Award for Flavors. In 2008, she hosted a late-night live quiz show on Zee TV in India, known as Jaago Aur Jeeto. She appeared in the musical comedy miniseries Bollywood Hero on the IFC in 2008. She starred opposite Saturday Night Live comedian Chris Kattan in the three part series. In the late 2000s, she appeared in the Pakistani drama serial Ishq Junoon Deewangi on Hum TV. After a long gap she reappeared in Kollywood industry from the film Viswaroopam paired with Kamal Hassan.
|2003||Magic Magic 3D||Deepti||Malayalam|
|2005||Night of Henna||Hava||English|
|2006||Hiding Divya||Palini Shah||English|
|2010||Anything For You||Uma Krishnan||English|
|Drawing With Chalk||Jasmine||English|
|2012||Man on a Ledge||Nina||English|
|2013||Vishwaroopam||Dr. Nirupama Viswanath/Nirupama wisam||Tamil|
|2016||Meen Kuzhambum Mann Paanaiyum||Mala||Tamil|
|Vishwaroopam 2||Dr. Nirupama Wisam||Tamil||Filming|
|Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum||Tamil||Filming|
- "Conversations with American Indian Actor Pooja Kumar", South Asian Insider, n.d.
- Girn, Raj. "Open Chest/Cover Story: Pooja Kumar", Anokhi, Fall 2009
- "Miss India USA", WorldwidePageants.com
- "1001 Auditions" (official site)
- Poooja Kumar: Resume
- Pooja Kumar at the Internet Movie Database
- "Pooja Kumar the face of Bombay Dreams" Rediff – 10 February 2004
- Rohit, Parimal M. "Pooja Kumar – The New Heroine: Rising Star Ready for Primetime with 'Bollywood Hero'", Bollywood Buzzine July 2009