Anupam Kher was born into a Kashmiri-Pandit family in Shimla, India; being the son of a lower middle-class clerk and having 11 siblings, money was scarce. Kher's lack of interest in academics and athletics forced him to utilize his comic side to impress his classmates at school. It was while he was reenacting funny scenes that he realized that he wanted to be an actor. After stealing money from his Mother's purse, Kher ran off and enrolled in Punjab University's Department of Theatre, from where he went on to study at the prestigious National School of Drama, an institution at which he later served as the Chairperson from 2001 to 2004.
After two decades spent rising to celebrity status in India, Kher's appearance in the popular English-language romantic comedies Bend It Like Beckham (2003) and Bride and Prejudice (2005) brought him international recognition. He served as the chairperson of the Indian Censor Board from 2003-2004. Kher was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri by the President of India in 2004 for his contribution to Indian cinema. In 2005 Kher established Actor Prepares, one of India's finest acting schools, with big names like Danny Boyle and Shekhar Kapur serving as guest faculty. Back in the acting world, Kher also appeared on the popular series "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009) in 2004 and in the big Hollywood dramas The Mistress of Spices (2006) and Ang Lee's "Lust,Caution" (2007). In addition to his acting and education work, Kher is also a humanitarian who has been working actively with the Kashmiri-Pandit refugee community and serving as the Goodwill Ambassador of Pratham Educational Foundation, a nonprofit that works towards educating underprivileged children.
His star rose to even greater heights when Kher co-starred in director David O. Russell's Academy Award-nominated Silver Linings Playbook (2012), playing Bradley Cooper's kindhearted therapist. In early 2013, Kher announced perhaps one of his most ambitious film projects yet: stepping behind the camera for "I Went Shopping for Robert De Niro," a 29-minute film that pays tribute to Kher's "Silver Linings" costar, legendary actor Robert De Niro.
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