Dev Patel
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Harrow, London, England, UK
6' 1½
Famous for:
His role in Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Longfield Primary School
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Slumdog Millionaire


"I'm an Asian guy growing up in London so I see myself as British, but India is part of my culture." Dev Patel

Born to Indian parents, Dev Patel was raised in the London suburb of Harrow and made his earliest onscreen performance as Anwar Kharral (2007-2008), a British Pakistani Muslim teenager, in the British teen drama series “Skins.” He was shot to international fame when he starred as Jamal Malik, a young man from the slums of Mumbai who won the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," in Danny Boyle's Golden Globe and Academy Award winning film, “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008).

"When I got picked for this film, it was totally different. I knew I could do something with my acting other than ‘Skins’ and this was my opportunity. I’m just an average Joe with a big dream." Dev Patel

Next, Patel will portray Prince Zuko in M. Night Shyamalan's “The Last Airbender,” an upcoming live action fantasy film based on the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

This 6' 1½" rising star is also a martial artist with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and was a bronze medalist in the 2004 World Championships. He recently joined the likes of “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson and Academy Award winning actor/comedian/rapper Jamie Foxx in a list of the most eligible men compiled by “OK” magazine.

"I never had a girlfriend. I'm the guy who stands in the club nowhere near the dance floor." Dev Patel


Childhood and Family:

"Coming from London, I had this stupid, preconceived notion and stereotype of what a slum would be like. When I woke up that morning to go with the location scout, I thought it was going to be a bloody hard day. I was so glad to be proved wrong when I was there. It totally shaped my character." Dev Patel (on visiting the Mumbai slums to film “Slumdog Millionaire”)

Son of Hindu Gujarati Indian parents Raj and Anita Patel, both of whom were born in Nairobi, Kenya, Dev Patel was born on April 23, 1990, in Harrow, London, England. His mother is a caregiver and his father is an IT consultant. He has one sibling, an older sister named Komal.

Raised in Rayners Lane, Harrow, Patel attended Longfield Primary School. In middle school, he acted in his first play as Sir Andrew Aguecheek in a staged performance of William Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night,” which won him his school's Best Actor of the Year. Patel then attended Whitmore High School, where he excelled in drama.

Since 2000, Patel has trained at Rayners Lane Academy of Tae Kwon Do and is now a black belt. He has competed in many national and international championships and has over 37 medals.



Acting in his first play in a middle school production of William Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night,” Dev Patel joined an audition for a TV series that was calling for young actors with limited experience. He later won the part of Anwar Kharral, a young Muslim boy with overbearing Pakistani parents, on the British TV series “Skins.” Patel, who had no professional acting experience before the show, would play the character in the BAFTA winning teen drama from 2007 to 2008.

One of the show's fans was Caitlin Boyle, the 17-year-old daughter of British filmmaker Danny Boyle. When her father was in the midst of casting his newest film, which was set in Mumbai, but hadn't found a lead actor with the personality he was looking for, Caitlin pointed Patel out from the British television drama "Skins," of which he was a cast member. Patel then auditioned for the role of Jamal K. Malik, a young man from the slums of Mumbai who won the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and was eventually cast in August 2007.

Boyle recalled, "I wanted a guy who didn't look like a potential hero. I wanted him to earn that in the film."

Patel instantly connected with the famed British director, whom he described, "He has passion for what he does. He just engages you when he talks to you. Before I went for the first audition, I got a small snippet of the script. There was a scene that is no longer in the movie where my character is telling his brother about destiny and she’s my soul mate and how we were meant to be together. I thought what the hell? This guy is 17. I looked to my sister and asked her, is this normal? Because I like computer games! After the first 20 pages, I was like, whoa! It’s so endearing. You just want to root for this guy. I was immediately drawn to his innocence. That’s what I can do. Bring that (innocence) to him."

Patel played the role in the 2008 film "Slumdog Millionaire," an adaptation of Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup's novel "Q & A." The film premiered at Telluride Film Festival and was subsequently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the London Film Festival. It enjoyed critical acclaim and awards during the limited North American release on November 12, 2008, by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures. The film was later released on a more global scale.

"Slumdog Millionaire" was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. It also won five Critics' Choice Awards, four Golden Globes, and seven BAFTA Awards, including Best Film. Patel's performance in the film also garnered rave reviews, winning him awards at the Critics' Choice Awards (for Best Young Performer, Actor/Actress), the Richard Attenborough Film Awards (for Best Breakthrough and for Rising Star of the Year), the Screen Actors Guild Awards (for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture), the Black Reel Awards (for Best Actor and Best Breakthrough Performance), the British Independent Film Awards (for Most Promising Newcomer), the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) Awards (for Most Promising Performer), and many more. He also received countless additional nominations for his performance.

About his character in the film, Patel explained, "This boy is innocent. He lives in a dog-eat-dog environment and it’s survival of the fittest every single day, but he’s got this integrity to him. He takes all this sh** from the game show host and is ripped to shreds before a live audience and the whole of India. He is even tortured, but he doesn’t give up."

And when asked if he really watched the quiz show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" of which "Slumdog Millionaire" is based upon, Patel revealed, "I didn’t really watch the show all that much when it was on. It’s not my thing really, because I am bad at general knowledge. I am one of those guys who would go after the first question, narrow it down to 50/50, and still get it wrong."

Following his stunning debut, Patel replaced pop singer Jesse McCartney in the role of Zuko in M. Night Shyamalan's “The Last Airbender,” an upcoming live action fantasy film based on the animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, and Jackson Rathbone will play Aang, Katara, and Sokka respectively in the movie that is scheduled to be released on July 2, 2010.

Shyamalan once stated, "[Patel was] already one of the guys I was interested in. Then I saw 'Slumdog Millionaire' and the kid just grew in my eyes."


  • Critics' Choice: Best Young Performer (Actor/Actress), “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2009

  • Richard Attenborough Film: Best Breakthrough, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2009

  • Richard Attenborough Film: Rising Star of the Year, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2009

  • Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2009

  • Black Reel: Best Actor, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008

  • Black Reel: Best Breakthrough Performance, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008

  • British Independent Film Award (BIFA): Most Promising Newcomer, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008

  • Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) Award: Most Promising Performer, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008

  • National Board of Review (NBR) Award: Best Breakthrough Performance, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008

  • Phoenix Film Critics Society: Break Out On Camera, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008

  • Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA): Best Breakthrough Performance, “Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008

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