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  • Faith: Muslim
  • Career: Comedian
  • Birthday:  March 05, 1966

Aasif Hakim Mandviwala, known professionally as Aasif Mandvi, is a British-American comedian, actor, and author. From 2006 to 2017, he was a correspondent on “The Daily Show.” His other television work includes the HBO comedy series “The Brink” and the Paramount+/CBS drama “Evil.” His film roles include “The Last Airbender” and “Spider-Man 2.” His stage work includes appearing on Broadway as Ali Hakim in “Oklahoma” and in “Disgraced,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013.

Mandvi was born in Bombay, now Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, to a Dawoodi Bohra Muslim family. When he was about a year old, his family moved to England, settling in the West Yorkshire city of Bradford. He attended the independent Woodhouse Grove School and identified as a “working-class kid from Bradford.” When he was 16, Mandvi’s father moved the family to Tampa, Florida, where he attended Chamberlain High School.

After graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in theatre, Mandvi worked as a performer at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World Resort. Eventually, he moved to New York City, where he started appearing in off-Broadway productions. During this time, he was active in the band Cowboys and Indian. He won an Obie Award for his one-person show, “Sakina’s Restaurant.” On Broadway, Mandvi appeared as Ali Hakim in the 2002 “Oklahoma” production directed by Trevor Nunn.

He also appeared in the play “Homebody/Kabul” by Tony Kushner, and he played Fritz Haber in the off-Broadway play “Einstein’s Gift.” Mandvi played Melchior in “On the Razzle” by Tom Stoppard at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and appeared in the docudrama “Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom” at the Culture Project. In 2012, Mandvi starred in “Disgraced” at Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theatre, playing the lead role of Amir, a Pakistani-American lawyer struggling with Islam and his identity.

What religion is Aasif Mandvi?

Mandvi identifies as a Muslim, being raised in a Dawoodi Bohra Muslim family. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mandvi admitted to not being the most devout Muslim but says it will always define a part of him. He said, “Religion is so much more than the god you pray to. The religion that you associate with, it’s culture, it is family, it is background. That is something that I have always grown up with.

He continued, discussing his book “No Man’s Land,” “I say in the book: I spent more time in bars than mosques over the years, which continues to be true. But culturally, yes, I feel like I will always be culturally Muslim. That is just something that’s in my DNA, I think.”

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