From Actor to White House Staffer: All About Kal Penn and his Net Worth

From Actor to White House Staffer: All About Kal Penn and his Net Worth
Kal Penn | Getty Images | Arturo Holmes

Name Kal Penn
Net Worth $10 million
Sources of Income Acting
Gender Male
Date of Birth April 23, 1977
Age 46 years old
Nationality American
Profession Actor

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Kal Penn, and Kumar Patel from "Harold & Kumar", is a popular names in the entertainment industry with a net worth of $10 million. He has also appeared in hit TV shows like, "House" and the critically acclaimed film, "The Namesake." He has also served as a White House staff member after joining the Obama administration in 2009. From 2016 to 2019, he played Seth Wright in the drama "Designated Survivor", where he also served as a consultant for the show.

Kal Penn makes most of his income from his multiple roles as an actor, chef, producer, and civil servant. He earned a bunch from playing the character of Dr Lawrence Kutner on "House" and earned around $75,000 for his breakout role as Kumar Patel, as per CNBC.

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Getty Images | David Becker
Getty Images | David Becker

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In 2007 and 2008, he supported Barack Obama's presidential campaign and even served as a member of his National Arts Policy Committee. After Obama was successful, he was offered the position of Principal Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. For this role, he went back to his birth name, Kalpen Modi, and liaised with the Pacific Islander and Asian-American communities. In 2012, he served as a co-chair of Obama's election campaign and the next year he was appointed to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. 



He bought a house for $1.2 million in Hollywood Hills, the same year he was cast in the series, "House." Spread over a $4,911-square-foot terrace lot, the house features a spa, a deck, and a wine cellar. He later listed this home for sale in August 2018 and sold the house for $1.585 million in just two months. 

Kal Penn was born Kalpen Suresh Modi, in Montclair, New Jersey on April 23, 1977, to Indian immigrant parents from Gujarat. Penn was raised Hindu and the family paid frequent visits to India when he was a kid. Penn made his debut in 1998 in the comedy short "Express: Aisle to Glory." He appeared in the film titled, "Freshman" the following year. He rose to prominence in the early 2000s and started appearing in independent films like, "Cosmopolitan, "Love Don't Cost a Thing," the Jamie Kennedy-starring "Malibu's Most Wanted," and "Dude, Where's the Party?."

His breakout role was as Kumar Patel opposite John Cho's Harold Lee. The film became a huge success, spawning two spinoffs. Apart from this, he has appeared in many films like, "Son of the Mask" and also Jeeter in the Ashton Kutcher starring film, "A Lot Like Love." 

Penn has written a memoir, "You Can't be Serious, Penn" in which announced his engagement to his boyfriend of 11 years, Josh. Penn once said that he discovered his sexual orientation, rather late in life. However, he added that "there's no timeline on this stuff. People figure their shit out at different times in their lives, so I'm glad I did when I did."

His silver screen debut was the 1998 movie, Express: Aisle to Glory and since then he has been seen in many movies including, "The Lonely Island", Malibu's Most Wanted"," Dude, Where's the Party?", " Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and more. He anglicized his names almost as a joke to prove his friends wrong but he did see a 50% rise in his audition callbacks after he changed his name from Kalpen Suresh Modi to Kal Penn.

He has also appeared in the spoof comedy "Epic Movie" as well as the television show "Law& Order: Special Victims Unit." He was also seen in the show, House. Kal Penn is perhaps best known for his role in "Harold & Kumar."

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Arturo Holmes
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Arturo Holmes

Are Kal Penn and Sean Penn related?

No, they are not related in any way. 

Is Kal Penn married?

No, he is engaged to his partner.

Does Kal Penn have Siblings?

Yes, Kal Pen has a brother named Pulin Modi.

What was Kal Penn’s role in the Obama administration?

He joined the Obama administration as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement as a liaison for outreach to AAPI and arts communities. 

Is Kal Penn a doctor?

No, he is not a doctor.

Why did Kal Penn change his name?

He changed his name due to his career.

Why was Kal Penn removed from the House?

He left as he was offered a position at the White House.

Did Kal Penn go to Stanford?

Yes, he attended Stanford University.


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