Archie Panjabi

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Archie Panjabi
Archie Panjabi in J. Mendel 1 crop.JPG
Panjabi at The Heart Truth Red Dress
Fashion Show, Lincoln Center in 2011.
BornArchana Panjabi
(1972-05-31) 31 May 1972 (age 42)
Edgware, Middlesex, England
Alma materBrunel University, London, UK
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)Rajesh Nihalani (m. 1998)
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Archie Panjabi
Archie Panjabi in J. Mendel 1 crop.JPG
Panjabi at The Heart Truth Red Dress
Fashion Show, Lincoln Center in 2011.
BornArchana Panjabi
(1972-05-31) 31 May 1972 (age 42)
Edgware, Middlesex, England
Alma materBrunel University, London, UK
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)Rajesh Nihalani (m. 1998)

Archana "Archie" Panjabi (born 31 May 1972)[1] is a British 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 shared with the cast. Her other notable roles include Yasmin Husseini in Yasmin (2005), Pinky Bhamra in Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and Asra Nomani in A Mighty Heart (2007).

Early life[edit]

Panjabi was born in London,[2] to Govind and Padma Punjabi, both Sindhi Hindu immigrants from India.[3][4][5] She graduated from Brunel University with a degree in management studies in 1996.[6][7][8] She is also classically trained in ballet.[8]


Panjabi has appeared in both film and television, from early appearances in the 1999 comedy film East is East to the 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.[9] 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 Tanya Reed Smith, a pathologist, in BBC Two drama series The Fall.[10]

Panjabi appeared as Blaise in the BBC World Service radio series Westway.


Panjabi was appointed the first Pratham USA Ambassador representing the largest educational movement in India.[11] She is a celebrity participant in the Rotary International's "This Close" public service campaign to end polio.[12] 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.[13] On 9 February 2011, Panjabi walked in The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection Fashion Show to increase awareness of the danger of heart disease, the number one killer of women.[14] The Harvard Foundation and Office for the Arts at Harvard University invited Panjabi to participate in their Artist in Residence Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to share her creative process as an actress.[15][16]


Panjabi was awarded Chopard Trophy in Cannes Film Festival in 2007. She was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for The Good Wife, winning in 2010. She won a NAACP Image Award in 2011 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the same role. She was also nominated for three SAG Awards with her co-stars of The Good Wife for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Personal life[edit]

In 1998, Panjabi married tailor Rajesh Nihalani in an arranged marriage.[17] In 2010, Nihalani was accused of theft.[18]



Panjabi won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife.
1995BideshiJoyotiShort film
1999East is EastMeenah Khan
2001DelilahAdult PimShort film
2002Black Nor WhiteSangeetaShort film
2002Bend It Like BeckhamPinky Bhamra
2002Arranged MarriageShashiShort film
2003Code 46Check In
2003Cross My HeartSumi
2005The Constant GardenerGhita Pearson
2006A Good YearGemma
2007Flying LessonsSharmilaItalian title: Lezioni di volo
2007I Could Never Be Your WomanCasting Girl
2007A Mighty HeartAsra Nomani
2008TraitorChandra Dawkin
2008My WorldTeacherShort film
2009Be GoodAnimal Adoption OfficerShort film
2010The InfidelSaamiya Nasir
2010The Happiness SalesmanKarenShort film
2013The Disappearance of Eleanor RigbyUnknownPanjabi appears in sequels Him and Her
2014I OriginsPriya Varma
2015San AndreasSerenaPost-production


1994Siren SpiritsJoyotiEpisode: "Bideshi"
1995Under the MoonHeenaTV movie
1996The Thin Blue LineNazia HabibEpisode: "Alternative Culture"
1997DadUnknownEpisode: "Dadmestic"
2000Brand Spanking New ShowVarious12 episodes
2000In The BeginningBasyaTV movie
2001A Mind to KillLamisa KhanEpisode: "Colour Blind"
2001Murder in MindWPC Jill EvansEpisode: "Vigilante"
2001The BillShanaz Arad2 episodes
2001Ivor the InvisibleLeilaVoice role
2002Single VoicesUnknownEpisode: "Little Englander"
2002The SecretNadia's POTV movie
2002Holby CityAli SafronEpisode: "From This Moment On"
2002Tough LoveChandraTV movie
2002My FamilyDental AssistantEpisode: "Of Mice and Ben"
2002White TeethAlsana4 episodes
2003This Little LifeNialaTV movie
2003Final DemandFaridaTV movie
2003The Canterbury TalesClareEpisode: "The Man of Law's Tale"
2003–2004Grease MonkeysRita Dhillon20 episodes
2004Sea of SoulsMegan Sharma6 episodes
2004–2006Postman PatMeera Baines24 episodes, voice role
2005A Very Social SecretaryAshleyTV movie
2006–2007Life on MarsMaya Roy2 episodes
2007Silent WitnessAmita Joshi2 episodes
2007Love TriangleVoice roleShort film
2009Personal Affairs (aka P.A's)Jane Lesser5 episodes
2009–presentThe Good WifeKalinda Sharma112 episodes
2013–2014The FallTanya Reed Smith9 episodes
2014The WidowerSimone Banerjee2 episodes


  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. ^ Kaufman, Joann (2010-09-01). "A Cultural Conversation with Archie Panjabi". The Wall Street Journal (New York: Dow Jones). ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Paul, Nisha (October 2007). "Mighty Sensational". Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Ilahi, Khalid (2007). "Archie Panjabi, Exclusive chat for A Mighty Heart". Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Good Wife Cast: Archie Panjabi". CBS. 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Marianne Bevis, ed. (2003). Link: The Brunel University Alumni Association Newsletter: 16.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ a b "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 152.
  9. ^ "Archie Panjabi". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Munn, Patrick (28 May 2012). "The Good Wife Star Archie Panjabi Cast in BBC Two's 'The Fall'". TVWise. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Archie Panjabi Appointed as Pratham Ambassador" Pratham (25 August 2011). Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  12. ^ "Rotary shares Polio Eradication message". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  13. ^ AIUK : Violence against women: Movie star leads battle to overturn 'unjust' UK law. (28 February 2008). Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  14. ^ The Heart Truth Event Photos, HHS, NIH, NHLBI. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  15. ^ Archie named ‘Artist in Residence’ at Harvard. Retrieved on 2012-10-31.
  16. ^ TV star Panjabi spends two days at Harvard. Retrieved on 2014-07-04.
  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. 
  18. ^ "Archie Panjabi's husband charged with theft". Times of India. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 

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