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Seen Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi's best films?

Last updated on: August 31, 2010 17:38 IST

Seen Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi's best films?

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Just a few years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find a desi on American television, outside the stereotypical convenience store owner or nerdy doctor.

But how things have changed.

Today, a fresh crop of South Asian youngsters -- led by British-Indian actress Archie Panjabi and actors like Kal Penn and Sendhil Ramamurthy -- have helped shift the paradigm, and have placed the desi community squarely in the mainstream. Even Bollywood actors like Anil Kapoor are making important appearances on American telly.

And now, their efforts are being rewarded.

At the recently concluded Emmys, Panjabi took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress (Drama) for her work in popular sitcom The Good Wife, where she plays Kalinda Sharma, the sassy sidekick of Alicia Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies.

We similarly honour Panjabi by looking back at some of her shining moments. Take a look.


Image: Archie Panjabi
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
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East is East, 1999

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It was Panjabi's portrayal of Meenah, one of Pakistani immigrant George Khan's seven children, which first got her noticed as an up-and-coming actress. 

Set in Greater Manchester, UK, the tale of George Khan (Om Puri), his Irish-Catholic wife and their children focuses on immigrant identity and the consequences on family when there is dissonance between religions and cultures.

Panjabi was 27 years of age at the time of the movie's release.


Image: A scene from East is East

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Bend it Like Beckham, 2002

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If East is East got her noticed, 2002's Bend it Like Beckham helped make her a star. While most of the plaudits went to the movie's leads, Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, Panjabi did a great job as Jess's older sister Pinky.

Panjabi again showed an ability to accurately capture the divided and conflicted worlds of second generation teen immigrants.


Image: A scene from Bend it Like Beckham

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Yasmin, 2004

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Previously having done mainly supporting work, Panjabi showed her ability to serve as the face of a film in Yasmin.

Yasmin -- set in a British-Muslim community before and after the September 11, 2001 attacks on America -- was written by Simon Beaufoy, who also adapted the screenplay for Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire

For her work in Yasmin, Panjabi was given numerous awards, including the Shooting Star award at the Berlin International Film Festival.


Image: A scene from Yasmin

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The Constant Gardener, 2005

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Panjabi appeared as Ghita Pearson in Oscar-winning film, The Constant Gardener, one of 2005's big critical successes.

The film, which was based on the John le Carre novel of the same name, follows a man's journey to find out the reason for his wife's murder.


Image: A poster of The Constant Gardener

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A Mighty Heart, 2007

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Panjabi continued to show a knack for gritty realism in A Mighty Heart, an adaptation of Mariane Pearl's memoir of the same name, about the kidnapping and murder of her husband, journalist Daniel Pearl.

While the film didn't fare too well at the box office -- despite starring Angelina Jolie -- it received mostly positive reviews.


Image: Angelina Jolie and Archie Panjabi

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The Infidel, 2010

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Panjabi tackled the issues of the British Muslim community with The Infidel, which released earlier this year. It tells the story of a British Muslim man, Mahmud Nasir, who suddenly discovers he was adopted as a child, and that he was actually born to a Jewish mother. And had a Jewish name.

Much hilarity ensues after that.

Archie does a fine job as Saamiya, Mahmud's wife.


Image: A scene from The Infidel

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The Good Wife

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It's the role that won Panjabi the Emmy.

From the very beginning, Panjabi's take as the bold-dressing and back-talking private investigator has won favour with critics.

'Panjabi is a great actress and gorgeous... even on a show full of richly drawn characters, Archie Panjabi manages to stand out,' The Los Angeles Times had to say in its review of the show.

People Magazine later echoed those thoughts, writing, 'In a fine supporting cast, the standout has turned out to be Archie Panjabi as investigator Kalinda Sharma. Her sarcastic bite plays off Alicia's prudent reserve.'


Image: A scene from The Good Wife

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