Vinay Pathak is an Indian actor who is best known for his work in Bollywood. In career spanning over two decades, he has appeared in over 50 Hindi films, mostly in comedic and character roles. Some of his best work has come in offbeat comedies like Khosla Ka Ghosla
(2006), Bheja Fry
(2007) and Dasvidaniya
(2008), though Vinay has also appeared in mainstream Bollywood films like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
(2008), My Name is Khan
(2010) and Badlapur
(2015). For his performance in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Vinay was nominated for a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2009.
Vinay was born in Bhojpur district, Bihar, and went to school at Vikas Vidyalaya, Ranchi. Subsequently, he graduated from Allahabad University.
Vinay met Sonika Sahay while filming for an ad, and after dating for five months, they got married. The couple filed for a divorce in 2008. They have two daughters together: Vasudha Pathak and Sharinee Pathak.
Vinay made his feature film debut in 1996, with a minor role in Deepa Mehta
`s romantic drama film Fire. Following small supporting roles in the Salman Khan
starrers Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
(1999) and Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega
(2000), he appeared in a more prominent supporting role in the erotic thriller film Jism
(2003), which went on to become a box office success. In 2006, Vinay appeared alongside Anupam Kher
, Boman Irani
and Ranvir Shorey
in the cult classic comedy film Khosla Ka Ghosla
, which reaffirmed his credentials as an actor who can do both serious character roles and comedic roles. The actor got his first big break when he essayed the role of Bharat Bhushan, a bumbling tax inspector, in the comedy film Bheja Fry
(2007), which was an unofficial remake of the French film The Dinner Game (1998). Bheja Fry went on to become a critical and commercial success, and for his performance in the film, Vinay was nominated for an IIFA Award and won a Producers Guild Film Award for Best Actor in a Comic Role. In the same year, he appeared alongside Neil Nitin Mukesh
in the neo-noir thriller film Johnny Gaddaar
, which was well-received by the critics and the audience alike.
The actor earned his first Filmfare Award nomination and his second IIFA Award nomination in 2008, when he took on the role of Balwinder "Bobby" Khosla in the Shah Rukh Khan
starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
. In the same year, he ventured into production with the critically acclaimed comedy-drama film Dasvidaniya, in which he also starred. Dasvidaniya
had Vinay playing Amar Kaul, a 37-year old single man who is forced to reevaluate his life choices and priorities on receiving the news that he is terminally ill and has three months to live. The film was well received in all circles, and Vinay drew praise for capturing both the comic and dramatic nuances of the character in his portrayal. Besides these, he also appeared in a supporting role in the thriller film Manorama Six Feet Under
in 2008. Though not a commercial success, the murder mystery received much appreciation from the critics for its compelling premise and sharp writing.
In 2009, Vinay appeared in three comedies - Straight
, Quick Gun Murugan
and Raat Gayi Baat Gayi
- all of which opened to mixed reviews. This was followed by supporting roles in My Name is Khan
(2010) and Antardwand
(2010), the latter of which won the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues that year. The actor had as many as 7 releases in 2011, 5 of which he had starring roles in. While Bheja Fry 2
, the sequel to the 2007 comedy classic, failed to recreate the magic of its predecessor, the road movie Chalo Dilli
and the romantic comedy Pappu Can`t Dance Saala
opened to positive reviews and turned out to be box office hits. In 2012, Vinay appeared in a small supporting role in Deepa Mehta`s eponymous adaptation of the Salman Rushdie novel Midnight`s Children
. The film also marked his second collaboration with the director after the 1996 romantic drama Fire.
Some of the most memorable performances in the actor`s career came in 2015, courtesy of films like Gour Hari Dastaan
and Island City
. The biographical drama Gour Hari Dastaan revolved around freedom fighter Gour Hari Das`s quest to salvage his integrity and prove his patriotism before a sceptical society and government. For his impeccable portrayal of the titular character, Vinay won a Best Actor award at the Extravagant India - International Indian Film Festival in Paris. In the same year, he appeared in a key supporting role in the revenge drama film Badlapur
, which had Varun Dhawan
and Nawazzudin Siddiqui
in the lead roles. Vinay forayed into voice acting in the following year, with the computer-animated comedy-adventure film Motu Patlu: King of Kings
(2016). Among the actor`s 2017 projects are the computer-animated adventure film Hanuman Da` Damdaar
and Ketan Mehta
`s Toba Tek Singh, where he will be essaying the role of Indo-Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto. His 2019 release includes Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi.
Vinay made his television debut in the 1997 Zee TV series Margarita, and rose to prominence when he was cast in the role of Vinnie sir in the popular teen comedy series Hip Hip Hurray. Since then, he has appeared in shows like Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr, CID and Murder Unveiled. Between 2004 and 2007, Vinay was a part of the popular stand-up and sketch comedy show The Great Indian Comedy Show. He has also co-hosted the talk show Ranvir Vinay Aur Kaun?, with his friend and frequent collaborator Ranvir Shorey