Actress Mindy Kaling has become a staple on prime time television. The writer, producer and now star of her own series The Mindy Project is one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. Her salary of $1.5 million plus writing and production pay makes her one of the highest paid on television. At the age of 24 she became the first female writer on the long running series “The Office”. She was nominated five consecutive times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series as a producer of The Office. Her net worth is currently at $8 million in 2013.
Mindy was born Vera Chokalingam in Cambridge Massachusetts. She comes from a well educated family. Her parents were both immigrants from India. Her mother is of Tamil and her father is Bengali descent. Mindy’s parents became the first in their families to receive college degrees. Her mother was a gynecologist and her father is an Architect. When they moved to America her mother was pregnant with her and they wanted their daughter to have an American name so they named her Mindy from the comedy series Mork & Mindy. She was destined to head into comedy. As a kid she was pressured by her family to do exceptional in school. She did just that and accepted a partial tuition academic scholarship to Dartmouth College but she chose to study Playwright. During college she joined an improvisational comedy troupe. Mindy also worked on a talk radio show.
After college Kaling immediately saw much success as a writer. Her play “Matt and Ben” which she wrote about the relationship between Ben Affleck and Matt Damon garnered strong critic praise. It was featured in Time magazine’s “Top Ten Theatrical Events of The Year.” Kaling’s writing ability got her a writing spot on Saturday Night Live.
Her film debut came in 40 Year Old Virgin alongside Steve Carell. In 2005 she worked again with Carell on NBC’s The Office. She was originally hired as a staff writer but later got the role of Kelly Kapoor. She extended her acting role to directing. Mindy Kaling directed several episodes during season 6 of the Office. In 2011 she signed a big deal with NBC worth $5 million. It included a salary to stay with the Office till the final season and become Executive Producer. Her NBC contract includes a development deal for a new show (eventually titled “The Mindy Project”), in which she appears as an actor and contributes as a writer. This show makes Kaling the first South Asian-American woman to be the headliner of her own network television show.