Kushal Punjabi (23 April 1977 – 26 December 2019) was an Indian film and television actor, who won the TV reality game show, Zor Ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout, the Indian version of US game show Wipeout in February 2011, taking home the prize of 50 lakh (equivalent to 77 lakh or US$110,000 in 2018).[1][2]

Kushal Punjabi
Kushal Punjabi
Kushal Punjabi at the screening of Crazy Cukkad Family in 2015
Born(1977-04-23)23 April 1977
Died26 December 2019(2019-12-26) (aged 42)
Bandra, Maharashtra, India
Cause of deathSuicide by hanging
Years active1996–2019
Known forKaal
Ishq Mein Marjaawaan

Punjabi had been in movies such as Farhan Akhtar's Lakshya, Karan Johar's Kaal, UTV's Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, and Cinevistaa's Ssshhhh...Phir Koi Hai. He had also appeared in a number of television series, most recently in Ishq Mei Marjawan on Colors TV, where he plays an advocate. In addition, he has participated in several reality shows, including Fear Factor, Mr. & Miss TV, Paisa Bhari Padega, Nautica Navigators Challenge, Ek Se Badhkar Ek, and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

He had been a professional modern jazz and hip hop dancer and choreographed the Gladrags Manhunt Megamodel and Mrs. India contests as well as various fashion shows and music videos.[citation needed] He choreographed and directed the 'Star Walk' Fashion event for UMEED (a NGO for children).

Early life and familyEdit

Punjabi was born on 23 April 1977 into a Sindhi family.[3][4][5] His father is from Karachi, his mother is from Hyderabad, and he was born and raised in Mumbai.[3] As a child, Punjabi was extremely active and started cycling, skating, swimming and dancing very early. In the coming years he played football, and swam for his school and college. He loved travelling and being outdoors, and his spirit of adventure made him an apt candidate for adventure sports which he did with great passion. His love of dance theatre and music helped him in becoming a serious actor, and he went on to do more than 20 TV shows, 5 films, and numerous music videos and commercials.[citation needed]


He started his career as a dancer and model,[6] and participated in Gladrags Manhunt Contest, in 2000.[7] He also appeared in the music album of Shweta Shetty pop song Deewane To Deewane Hai in 1997. His television career began with the TV series A Mouthful Of Sky in 1995 for DD Metro channel, followed by Love Marriage in 2002 on Zee TV, and also appeared in a number of series like Don in 2006 for Star One, Santaan from 2007–2008 for Star Plus, Kasamh se in 2006 for Zee Tv, Sssshh...Phir Koi Hain for Star One and King Aasman Ka Ek Raja for Sony TV. He appeared as Sub-inspector in CID: Special Bureau, detective-crime TV series, CID (on Sony TV) from 2003 to 2004 and did a small role in the TV series, Kkusum. In 2004, he appeared as a lead in Dekho Magar Pyaar Se (on STAR Plus), an Indian adaptation of popular Venezuelan TV series, Mi Gorda Bella and also in popular comedy TV series, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa on Zee TV. His other shows were Antariksh in 2008 for Star Plus, Yeh Dil Chahe More in 2006 for Star One, Hum Tum in 2008 for Zee Next and Rishta dot com on Sony TV in 2010 for Yash Raj productions. He also appeared in STAR Plus TV series, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, he did a cameo in SAB TV's Gutur Gu, India's first silent comedy series.[8] He then bagged a prominent role in Farhan Akhtar's film, Lakshya (2004), followed by Karan Johar's Kaal, which also starred Ajay Devgn.[9]

He appeared in Hindi films, like Lakshya (2004), Kaal (2005), Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love (2007) and Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (2007).

He was a trained dancer-choreographer[9] and worked as a dancer/trainer with Shiamak Davar for while.[7] He participated in reality shows like Mr. & Ms. TV (2007), Fear Factor, Fun on the Run and Ek Se Badhkar Ek (2008) on Zee TV,[10] and in 2011 won the TV reality game show Zor Ka Jhatka, the Indian version of Wipeout!, which started with 28 contestants, in an obstacle course set in Argentina, and was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan,[2][11] and was shooting for Balaji Film's Rock the Shaadi as 1 of the 3 main leads. He also made a wild card entry in the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.


Punjabi was found dead at his residence in Pali Hill, Mumbai on 26 December 2019. The cause of death was reported to be suicide by hanging. He died at the age of 42.[5] He was suffering from depression.[12] He distributed his property among his parents and son, as stated in his suicide note.[4][5]


Year Film Director Production Co.
1996 Bomgay Riyad Vinci Wadia, Jangu Sethna Wadia Movietone
1997 Humko Ishq ne Maara Arjun Sablok
1998 Bombay Boys Kaizad Gustad
2003 Andaaz Raj Kanwar Shree Krishna International
2003 Sssshhh... Pawan Kaul Cinevistaa Films
2004 Lakshya Farhan Akhtar Excel Entertainment
2005 Kaal Soham Shah Dharma Productions
2007 Salaam-e-Ishq Nikhil Advani Mukesh Talreja

Sunil Manchanda

2007 Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal Vivek Agnihotri UTV Motion Pictures
2015 Crazy Cukkad Family Ritesh Menon Praksh Jha Productions
2017 A Gentleman Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. Fox Star Studios


Year Title
1995 A Mouthful of Sky (TV Series)
2002 Love Marriage (TV series)
2003 CID (TV series)
2004 Dekho Magar Pyaar Se (TV series)
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa
2004 King Aassman Ka Ek Raja (TV series)
2005 Yeh Dil Chahe More (TV series)
Antarishk (TV series)
Fear Factor (Reality)
Paisa Bhari Padega (Reality)
2006 Kasamh Se (TV series)
Antariksh (TV series)
Sssshhh... Phir Koi Hai (TV series) STAR One
2007 Mr. & Ms. TV (Reality)
Santaan (TV series)
Fun on the Run (Reality)
2008 Hum Tum (TV series)
Ek Se Badhkar Ek (Reality)
Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat (TV series)
Mr. & Ms. TV (Reality) Quit
Sitaron ki Jung (Reality)
2010 Gutur Gu (TV series)
Rishta dot com (TV series)
2011 Zor ka Jhatka (Reality)
2012 Aasman Se Aage (TV Series)
2012 Teri Meri Love Stories (TV Series) (1 episode)
2013 Welcome - Baazi Mehmaan-Nawaazi ki
2013 Hum Ne Li Hai- Shapath
2014 Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7 (Reality)
2015 Zindagi Wins
2017- Kya Hal Mister Panchal
2018 Sajan Re Phir Jhooth Mat Bolo
2018 Ishq Mein Marjawan


  1. ^ "Kushal Punjabi Wins Zor Ka Jhatka". NDTV Movies. 26 February 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Kushal Punjabi wins 'Zor Ka Jhatka'". The Times of India. 26 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Kushal Punjabi, model-actor". Indiatimes.com. 24 January 2005. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Kushal Punjabi, 42, found dead at Mumbai home". India Today. 27 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "TV actor Kushal Punjabi commits suicide". The Indian Express. 27 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  6. ^ "'He's a bit of a loud mouth'". Khaleej Times. 13 June 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Kushal Punjabi". Stardust. 1 February 2008.
  8. ^ "Kushal's silent cameo". The Times of India. 20 March 2010.
  9. ^ a b "The Freshers' Club". Indian Express. 20 November 2004.
  10. ^ "To each his own: Zee TV's "Ek Se Badhkar Ek" ruffles feathers, infuses new hope too". The Hindu. 9 August 2008.
  11. ^ "Kushal Punjabi wins Zor Ka Jhatka". Bollywood Hungama News Network. 26 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Rohit Roy on Kushal Punjabi's suicide: 'We treat a simple viral with medication but smile through mental ailments'". Hindustan Times. 30 December 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2019.

External linksEdit