Pankaj Tripathi is an Indian actor who works predominantly in Bollywood. He is famous for his natural acting skills. The actor rose to fame with his supporting role in the film, “Gangs of Wasseypur,” in which he essayed the role of ‘Sultan.’
Pankaj Tripathi was born on 5 September 1976 (age 47 years; as of 2023) in Belsand, a small town in the Gopalganj district of Bihar, India. He did his schooling at D. P. H. School in Gopalganj. Tripathi was inclined towards acting right from his childhood, and merely at the age of 12, he started to perform as a ‘girl artist‘ at ‘Chhath Festivals’ in his village.
Tripathi’s father wanted him to be a doctor and sent him to Patna for higher studies. While studying there, he joined ABVP and actively participated in college politics. He was an eloquent speaker. Pankaj was also good at sports and represented his college in High Jump and 100-meter-sprint. After completing his college education, he joined a course in Hotel Management and worked as a ‘cook’ for two years at Hotel Maurya.
Later, the actor worked in theatre for several years before featuring in films.
Pankaj is 5’ 10” tall and weighs 70 kg. He has dark brown eyes and black hair.
Family, Caste & Wife
Pankaj was born into a Hindu Family. His father, Pandit Banaras Tiwari, was a farmer and a priest, and his mother, Hemwanti, is a homemaker; Pandit Banaras Tiwari passed away on 21 August 2023. Pankaj has 3 elder brothers and 2 elder sisters.
His wife’s name is Mridula, and he got married to her on 15 January 2005, and they have a daughter named Aashi Tripathi.
It was there in Patna that the actor got more attracted to art. He started visiting various drama shows; asking them if he can act as well. In 1995, he performed a small role as a local thief in the play based on Bhism Sahni’s story of Leela Nandlal, which was directed by Vijay Kumar (an NSD pass-out). His performance was highly appreciated by the audience and media alike. From thereon, he became a regular theatre artist and practiced it for around 4 years.
After spending 7 years in Patna, Pankaj relocated to Delhi. He enrolled himself in the National School of Drama, from where he graduated in 2004. Further, he returned to Patna and did theatre for 4 months.
On 16 October 2004, Tripathi moved to Mumbai and did an uncredited role in the film ‘Run,’ starring Abhishek Bachchan and Vijay Raaz. He did several small roles in films and television before playing a prominent role in a TV drama titled “Gulal.”
While shooting for Gulal, Pankaj received a call for an audition for Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur.’ The audition went on for about 8 hours, and he was offered the role of “Sultan.” His performance in the film was well praised by the audience and led him to receive more offers from several filmmakers. His works in Fukrey, Manjhi: The Mountain Man, and Masaan were also well appreciated by the critics and audience.
In 2017, Tripathi bagged his first lead role in the film Gurgaon.
- Tripathi’s hobbies include cooking, reading, travelling, and listening to music.
- His favourite actor is Amitabh Bachchan.
- He likes to work with directors Anurag Kashyap and Ram Gopal Verma.
- Tripathi joined RSS at a very young age and started visiting its “Shakhas.”
- His wife is a teacher in Goregaon, Mumbai.
- Pankaj wasn’t aware of films till the 10th standard as the family didn’t have a television set. The nearest theatre was around 20 km away from his village.
- Tripathi was honoured with a National Film Award- Special Mention for his film, Newton.
- In October 2022, the Election Commission of India announced Pankaj Tripathi as the National Icon of the commission. Mr. Tripathi was already the State Icon of the Bihar Election Commission. On being titled the National Icon of Election Commission of India, Tripathi said,
I was already the state icon of Bihar associated with Election Commission and during the programme at AIR station Chief Election Commissioner Mr Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioner Mr Anup Chandra announced that now I will be the National Icon of the Election Commission of India between the running show and it was a pleasant surprise for me as I wasn’t aware anything such thing was to happen.” The Times of India
- On 11 September 2023, Pankaj inaugurated a library at a school in Belsand, Bihar, as a tribute to his father.
- While talking about his love for food, in an interview, Pankaj Tripathi expressed his fondness for bhujiya, considering it his favourite dish in Bihari cuisine. He added that if he were to open a restaurant, he would like to promote Bihari and Jharkhand cuisine. India Today He said,
Mujhey bhaat, dal aur bhujiya mil jaye to mujhey kuch nahi chahiye sansaar mein (If I get rice, dal and fries, then I don’t want anything else in the world).The purity in those dishes, which is so good for your stomach, is what Bihar’s food is all about. If I ever open a restaurant in the future, I will try to popularise Bihari and Jharkhand cuisine.”
- On 17 October 2023, Pankaj Tripathi was honoured with the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film ‘Mimi.’ The award was presented to him by the President of India Droupadi Murmu.