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Indian actor Kumar Pallana, who was beloved for his roles in many of director Wes Anderson’s films, has reportedly died at age 94.
A source close to his family shared the sad news with AV Club.
Although Pallana’s IMDb profile notes appearances on The Mickey Mouse Club Show and The Ed Sullivan Show as “Kumar of India,” Pallana is known by modern audiences for his appearances in most of Anderson’s films. His roles with Anderson lead to parts in other Hollywood films, including Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal and Another Earth.
Pallana can be seen in Anderson’s first feature, 1996’s Bottle Rocket and later in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited. He had a significant role in Tenenbaums playing Gene Hackman’s sidekick, groundskeeper Mr. Littlejeans.
Anderson, Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson met Pallana at a Dallas coffee shop his son owned and they convinced him to appear in Anderson’s films. He told The Believer that Anderson frequented the coffee shop because of their chess nights.
“We play cards and all the bridge and poker and everything. We became very good friends, and they told me, they said, ‘We are writing,’” he recalled in that interview. “They wanted to shoot the movie, the Bottle Rocket. And I didn’t pay much attention to what kind of movie it was. They go to Los Angeles and finally they come and they say, ‘Yeah, we are shooting the movie. And here is your part.’ And that’s where it started.”
In Anderson’s films, viewers could see that Pallana was having a great time and fans of those movies should be happy he said yes.