Kumar Pallana, actor and yoga instructor, dead at 94

Oct. 11, 2013 at 9:24 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Indian-born yoga instructor, coffee-shop owner and actor Kumar Pallana has died at the age of 94, his son Dipak announced on Facebook.

"Dear Papa, you will be missed," Dipak Pallana wrote Thursday.

Trained as a gymnast, Kumar Pallana worked as a juggler and a singer before being cast as an actor -- frequently as Native Americans -- in several Western films, UsMagazine.com noted.

"I came to the United States in 1946. Back then, Indians couldn't even get one foot in the door at the studios," he told the Dallas Morning News in 2004. "There just weren't that many roles for Indians. Oh sure, I got work -- but I played a different sort of Indian."

After he retired from acting, he opened a Dallas yoga studio and coffee shop called the Cosmic Cup where he met writer-actor Owen Wilson and writer-director Wes Anderson who were writing their film "Bottle Rocket" in the mid-1990s, UsMagazine.com said.

Pallana played a supporting role in their film as well as Anderson's other efforts "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "The Darjeeling Limited."

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