1. Born on June 24, 1979, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mindy Kaling is one of television’s funniest talents.
2. She wrote and acted in the hit sitcom The Office before creating her own popular series The Mindy Project.
3. Kaling is the daughter of Indian immigrants. Both of her parents were professionals—her mother was a doctor and her father was an architect.
4. According to US Weekly, her parents named her Mindy after one of the lead characters in the sitcom Mork & Mindy, which starred Robin Williams and Pam Dawber.
5. In her best-selling memoir, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Kaling describes herself as a sensitive and studious child.
6. Kaling seemed to come out of her shell once she got to Dartmouth College, however. She created her own comic strip, “Badly Drawn Girl,” and performed with the Dog Day Players, an improv group. Kaling even took a semester off to intern for Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
7. Kaling had her first taste of comedic success with the play Matt and Ben. She wrote and starred in this celebrity spoof about actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon writing the screenplay for the movie Good Will Hunting.
8. Kaling played Damon, and Brenda Withers, Kaling’s friend from Dartmouth, played Ben Affleck. The show was staged in New York City and in Los Angeles. During its Los Angeles run, producer Greg Daniels caught the show and later offered Kaling a job on his new sitcom.
9. Daniels was developing an American version of the popular British comedy series The Office, and Kaling joined the show as both a writer and an actress. The series debuted in 2005, with Kaling playing Kelly Kapoor, a talkative, pop-culture-obsessed customer-service rep. Kelly also spent a lot of time ruminating over her relationship with her co-worker Ryan Howard (B. J. Novak). Offscreen, Kaling and Novak dated for a time and still remain good friends.
10. The Office, which also starred Steve Carell and John Krasinski, went on to become a huge hit. Kaling received six Emmy Award nominations as a writer and a producer of the show.
11. Bolstered by her success on The Office, Kaling went on to develop her own series, The Mindy Project, which debuted in the fall of 2012.
12. The show made TV history as the first sitcom to star an Indian American. Kaling plays Dr. Mindy Lahiri, a single ob-gyn who is obsessed with romantic comedies.
13. Her character must also cope with her quirky co-workers, including fellow doctor Danny (Chris Messina) and male nurse Morgan (Ike Barinholtz).
14. In addition to writing, producing and starring in her own show, Kaling has tackled other projects as well. She has become one of Twitter’s most popular personalities, with more than 3.8 million followers.
15. Kaling is also at work on a collection of essays titled Why Not Me?, which will be published in the fall of 2015.
16. In the 2011 film No Strings Attached, she played the roommate of the main character, Natalie Portman.
17. She joined an improvisational comedy troupe called The Dog Day Players while attending Dartmouth College.
18. She also voices characters in the films Despicable Me, Wreck-It Ralph and Inside Out.
19. The Mindy Project has been nominated for three NAACP Image Awards in 2015. Mindy Kaling herself is nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
20. She loves reading books by Jhumpa Lahiri, even naming her Mindy Lahiri character after her.
21. She got her start in acting on-stage before landing her first TV appearance in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and made her movie debut in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”.
22. Her birth name is Vera Mindy Chokalingam.
23. The name Vera is, according to Kaling, is of the “incarnation of a Hindu goddess.”
24. She was a Classics major for much of college, studying Latin, which she had not studied since 7th grade.
25. Mindy attended Dartmouth College and while there, she used to draw comic strip she drew for the school’s newspaper called “Badly Drawn Girl.”
26. Daniels was developing an American version of the popular British comedy series The Office, and Kaling joined the show as both a writer and an actress.
27. Mindy says she once told the story to the show’s star, Robin Williams, but he did not believe her.
28. She shortened her last name to Kaling early in her post-college standup comedy years in New York, mostly due to the annoying habit emcees had of joking about how hard it was to pronounce.
29. She went to the prestigious Buckingham Browne & Nichols school in Cambridge.
30. She says she was quite nerdy while growing up. . “If you’ve seen a photo of me from when I was a kid,” Kaling told NPR’s Renee Montagne, “I don’t think anyone would have expected that going in front of the camera was something that I was going to do. I can’t believe how little effort my parents put into making me seem like an appealing little girl.” But, ever the skilled comedian, Kaling has been able to turn her geeky childhood into a source of comedy. “There’s photos from our high school musicals, and I’m comically in the deep background, wearing a beggar’s costume” she told Montagne.
31. The on-set photos in Mindy’s apartment and office are Kaling’s own. There are also photos of Mindy with actors who have been on the show for added realism.
32. Mindy drew inspiration for the career choice of the character from a place that is really close to home. Mindy’s mother, Swati, is also a physician. Mindy admitted to getting some of her story ideas from her mother’s real-world career.
33. She loves to use Twitter and sends out some hilarious 140 character jokes. When Bookish asked Kaling about her tweeting habits, she said, “I can’t get in every idea I want on [The Mindy Project] no matter how hard I try to bully the other writers. [Tweeting is] a way of me getting out other comic ideas and immediately getting feedback.”
34. Recently, Mindy Kaling gifted Reese Witherspoon with an Oscar-themed ‘Wreath Witherspoon.’ In a December episode of The Mindy Project, Mindy Lahiri hangs up a ‘Wreath Witherspoon’- a wreath plastered with pictures of Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon is up for an Oscar.
35. In 2013, Time magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
In 2012, Mindy left “The Office” in order to star in her own show, “The Mindy Project,” on Fox. She brought many of her former “The Office” co-stars along. Ed Helms, who played Andy Bernard made a couple of guest appearances on the show’s first season. Ellie Kemper, who played Erin Hannon has a recurring role on the show.