Erick Avari's Biography
During his 30 years as an actor, Erick Avari has consistently turned in finely crafted performances, from grand opera to soap opera, with stops on and Off Broadway, in regional theaters, in some of the highest grossing films in the past two decades, on hit television series and in award-winning independent films.
Avari is instantly recognizable from his roles in blockbuster films ranging from the comedic Mr. Deeds, opposite Adam Sandler; to sci fi epics such as The Mummy, with Rachel Weisz and Brandon Fraser; Stargate, with Kurt Russell and James Spader; Independence Day, starring Will Smith, and Daredevil, as Jennifer Garner’s father. He has also lent his talents to critically acclaimed dramatic roles in film festival favorites American East, with Tony Shalhoub; Dark Matter, starring Meryl Streep; Three Days Of Rain, with Peter Falk and Blythe Danner; and Choose Conner, with Steven Weber.
Since his Hollywood debut in Kevin Reynold’s The Beast of War, he has been fortunate to work with some of the most honored film directors of the time, including Mike Nichols, Tim Burton, Lasse Hallström and Satyajit Ray.
Born in Darjeeling, India, Avari attended European boarding schools before attending university in the US. He launched a distinguished career on the New York stage that included leading roles in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” (directed by Tony winner A.J. Antoon), “'Tis Pity She's A Whore” (directed by Mabou Mines founder Joanne Akalaitis) and “A Map of the World” (written and directed by David Hare) at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, as well as the classic musical “The King and I” on Broadway.
He has appeared at some of the country’s most prestigious regional theaters, including the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Goodman Theater in Chicago and Shakespeare and Company in Stockbridge, and played leading roles in Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” at the Portland Grand Opera, and in “Rasputin” at New York City Opera.
Among his scores of television roles are Chandra Suresh on NBC’s breakout hit series “Heroes,” as well as recurring roles on “LA Dragnet,” “Stargate SG-1” and “Felicity.” Avari’s recent Television appearances also include “Dirty Sexy Money,” opposite Peter Krause and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.”
Versatile, dedicated and dynamic, Avari has been a trailblazer for a generation of South Asian actors in Hollywood. In his fight against stereotypical casting, he has played more than two dozen different ethnicities with authority and believability.