Archie Panjabi Biography: Spouse, Age, Movies & TV Shows, Instagram, Net Worth, Height

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye January 30, 2024

Archie Panjabi is a British actress who has won acclaim for her UK and US television and film roles.

She is best known for playing Kalinda Sharma, the enigmatic investigator in the legal drama The Good Wife, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award and received several other nominations.

She has also starred in movies such as Bend It Like Beckham, A Mighty Heart, and San Andreas, and TV shows such as Life on Mars, Blindspot, and Departure.

She is the first Asian actor to win a Primetime Emmy for acting.


  • Full name: Archana Panjabi
  • Nickname: Archie
  • Date of birth: May 31, 1972
  • Age: 51 years old
  • Gender: Female
  • Place of birth: Edgware, London, England
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Actress
  • Height: 5 feet 3 inches (1.6 m)
  • Parents: Govind and Padma Panjabi
  • Siblings: Ashwin Panjabi (brother)
  • Spouse: Rajesh Nihalani (m. 1998)
  • Children: None
  • Relationship status: Married
  • Net worth: $3 million

Early Life & Education

Archie Panjabi, at the age of 51, was born on May 31, 1972, in Edgware, London, to Govind and Padma Panjabi, both Sindhi Hindu immigrants from India.

Her ancestry belongs to Sindh, now in Pakistan; her parents settled in India after the Partition of India. She has a brother named Ashwin, who is a director and producer.

She grew up in a multicultural environment and learned to speak several languages, including English, Hindi, Sindhi, and French.

She was also interested in acting and dancing from a young age and joined a local theatre group when she was 10. She is also classically trained in ballet.

She attended Sudbury Primary School and Harrow High School, where she excelled academically and participated in various extracurricular activities.

She then studied management studies at Brunel University, graduating in 1994. After completing her degree, she decided to pursue a career in acting and enrolled in a drama school in London.

Personal Life

Archie Panjabi is married to Rajesh Nihalani, a bespoke tailor, since 1998. The couple had an arranged marriage, which Panjabi initially resisted but later accepted.

They have been together for over two decades and have a strong bond. They do not have any children yet, but they have a black puppy named Mr. Q, with whom Panjabi often shares pictures on her social media accounts.

They live in Los Angeles, California, but also have a home in London.

Panjabi is a vegetarian and an animal lover. She is also involved in charitable and humanitarian causes, such as Pratham USA, Amnesty International, Rotary International, and the British Asian Trust.

She advocates for women’s rights, education, and environmental issues.

She has also received several awards and honors for her work, including the Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival, the Shooting Star Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Asian Women of Achievement Award.


Panjabi began her career with the 1999 film East is East, a comedy-drama about a British Pakistani family. She played the role of Meenah Khan, the rebellious daughter of the patriarch.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning a BAFTA Award for Best Film. Panjabi appeared in several British films and TV shows, such as Holby City, The Bill, and My Family.

She made her Hollywood debut in 2005 with the Oscar-winning film The Constant Gardener, where she played a British diplomat.

She then gained more recognition for her role as Pinky Bhamra, the protagonist’s sister, in the 2002 comedy Bend It Like Beckham, a global hit and a cult classic.

She also starred in the 2004 film Yasmin, in which she played a British Muslim woman who faced discrimination and prejudice after the 9/11 attacks. She won the Best Actress Award at the Reims Festival for her performance.

In 2007, she co-starred with Angelina Jolie in the film adaptation of A Mighty Heart, a book by Mariane Pearl, the wife of the journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and killed by terrorists in Pakistan.

Panjabi played the role of Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and a friend of the Pearls.

She received positive reviews for her portrayal and was nominated for a London Film Critics Circle Award. She also appeared in the 2008 film Traitor, where she played a federal agent and lent her voice to the video game Dead Space: Extraction.

In 2009, she joined the cast of the new CBS television series The Good Wife as Kalinda Sharma, a private investigator who works for a law firm.

Her character was a fan favorite and a critical darling known for her mysterious and complex personality, her sexual fluidity, and her wardrobe of leather jackets and boots.

She won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2010 and was nominated for two more Emmys, a Golden Globe, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

She also became the first Asian actor to win a Primetime Emmy for acting. She left the show after the sixth season in 2015.

Since then, she has appeared in several other films and TV shows, such as San Andreas, I Origins, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Blindspot, The Fall, Departure, and Next of Kin.

She has also produced and narrated documentaries like The Secret Life of the Sun and The British Asian Trust. She is working on a new TV series called The Essex Serpent, based on a novel by Sarah Perry.

Net Worth

Archie Panjabi has an estimated net worth of $3 million.

She has earned wealth from her acting career in the UK and the US. She has also endorsed some brands, such as L’Oréal Paris and Olay.


Archie Panjabi is not dead. She is alive and well as of 2023. However, there was a false rumor of her death that spread on the internet in November 2023, which was later confirmed as a hoax.

The actress took to Twitter to debunk the rumor and assure her fans she was fine.


Archie Panjabi was in a long-term feud with her co-star Julianna Margulies on The Good Wife.

The two actresses played best friends on the show, but their relationship soured after the second season when it was revealed that Panjabi had slept with Margulie’s husband.

The betrayal created a rift between the characters and also between the actresses, who reportedly could not stand each other.

They stopped filming scenes together and only interacted through phone calls or third parties. Fans noticed the lack of chemistry and screen time between the two and speculated about a possible feud.

Neither party confirmed the feud, but several hints and clues suggested it was true. For instance, Panjabi won an Emmy in 2010 for her role, but Margulies did not congratulate or mention her in her acceptance speech.

Margulies also commented that Panjabi was difficult to work with and had gone in a different direction. On the other hand, Panjabi remained silent and diplomatic about the situation but hinted that there was more to the story than what was shown.

The feud peaked in the season six finale when Panjabi’s character left the show. The episode featured a farewell scene between the two characters, but it was later revealed that the scene was shot separately using body doubles and green screens.

Fans and critics widely criticized the scene for being poorly done and disrespectful to the characters and the actors. Panjabi expressed her disappointment and confusion about the scene on Twitter, while Margulies denied any involvement in the decision and blamed the scheduling conflicts.

The feud has not been resolved since 2023, and the two actresses have yet to speak to each other. They have also avoided each other at public events and award shows.

The feud has been one of the most talked-about and controversial topics in the TV industry and has overshadowed the achievements and talents of both actresses.

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: @archiepanjabi
  • Twitter handle: @archiepanjabi


  • East is East
  • Bend It Like Beckham
  • Yasmin
  • The Constant Gardener
  • A Good Year
  • A Mighty Heart
  • Traitor
  • Espion
  • The Good Wife
  • The Infidel
  • The Happiness Salesman
  • I Origins (2014)
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
  • San Andreas
  • Blindspot
  • The Fall
  • Departure
  • Next of Kin
  • The Essex Serpent (TBA)

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