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13 Everyday Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Actually Indian

Don't worry. Mindy Kaling and Aziz Ansari are NOT on this list.

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1. Samantha Jade


The Aussie X-Factor winner has repeatedly stated that her father is Fijian-Indian, which makes this biracial beauty a member of the subcontinental clique.

2. Sakina Jaffrey

Netflix / Via Twitter

You may not recognise the name, but you'll certainly recognise the face. Jaffrey's a second generation Indian, whose parents are both established actors in England and India. She's best known for playing former White House Chief of Staff on Seasons 1 and 2 of Netflix drama House of Cards and as Sheriff Leena Reyes on Fox's Sleepy Hollow.

4. Norah Jones


Jones's father is internationally-acclaimed sitarist Ravi Shankar. Clearly Jones has taken after him in forging a musical career of her own. However, she's steered away from his name. Born Geetali Norah Jones Shankar, she was estranged from her father for most of his life.

5. Avan Jogia

Hollywood Reporter

He might rock more of an Eastern European vibe, but the former Nickelodeon child star's father is in fact a British expat of Gujarati decent. On his mum's side, Jogia is Welsh, English, and German, which explains his racially-ambiguous looks. Though he was once famous for being that guy Miley Cyrus made out with on her 18th birthday, Jogia's now better known for his role ABC Family drama Twisted where he played a half-Indian character.

6. Zuleikha Robinson

ABC / Via

The British actress, best known for her work on purgatory drama Lost - as guest star on Season 5 and main character in Season 6 - is a melange of cultures. Apart from the Indian heritage she inherits from her Burmese-Indian-Malay mother, Robertson is also part English, Scottish, and Iranian.

7. Sendhil Ramamurthy


To the trained eye, Ramamurthy is obviously Tamil. But what kind of Tamil? Tamilians come in all shapes and sizes. So is he Malay Tamil? Is he Singaporean Tamil? Is he Sri Lankan Tamil? Alas, he is Indian Tamil. Though his skin does have that resplendent glow mostly known to our friends across the Palk Strait.

8. Erick Avari

Columbia Pictures / Via

For decades he's guest-starred in all our favourite shows playing characters from across the globe. But Avari is indeed Indian. Born Nariman Eruch Avari in Darjeeling, West Bengal to a Parsi family, film is in his blood. His great-grandfather Jamshedji Framji Madan was one of the pioneers of Indian cinema in the early 20th century.

9. Nasser Hussain

Live Cric Highlights

Okay, so he's not an everyday celebrity. But the former English cricket captain is still hot property in some circles. Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Hussain is Indian both by birth and by genealogy. His dad's of Indian descent while his mother's English.

10. Ben Kingsley


After playing the lead in the 1982 biopic Gandhi most of us should be aware. But in case the young-ins amongst us haven't watched the classic, Kingsley's father is of Gujarati decent making him half-Indian half-British. In fact, his birth name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji, which he changed (with his father's blessing) once making the shift from theatre to film.

11. Jay Sean


The British RnB artist, whose real name is Kamaljit Singh Jhooti, hails from a Sikh-Punjabi family. Though American fans may not have known of the singer's Indian roots, Sean's UK fans are well aware. He first came onto the Brit scene with his Hip Hop-Bhangra crossover hits. And if that doesn't make him Indian enough, he almost went to medical school! #justsaying

12. M. Night Shyamalan

The film director, best known for making Haley Joel Osment see dead people, was born to a South Indian family of doctors. But being the black sheep that he is, Shyamalan decided to pursue a career making movies of the supernatural genre. Fun fact: the "M" stands for Manoj.

13. Freddie Mercury

The Queen front man was born Farrokh Bulsara in East Africa to Gujarati parents. He even attended boarding school in a town near Mumbai and counts iconic Hindi playback vocalist Lata Mangeshkar amongst his musical influences. I know. Mind BLOWN.

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