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Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Penny – Meet The Real Faces Of The Big Bang Theory

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The fact that beautiful women and nerdy men make for brilliant yet unlikely couples is a well known fact that has inspired many TV shows such as Beauty and the Geek, Geek Love and the most popular of them all the Big Bang Theory. The Big Bang Theory in particular stands out as it plays upon the oddities that occur naturally between highly intellectual scientists and comparatively dumb beauties. Created by Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre (also credited with creating Two and Half Men) the show has been running for close to five years with 105 episodes aired to date.

Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Howard and Penny make up the five main characters of the show. Similar to how F.R.I.E.N.D.S changed the lives of its main crew members, the Big Bang Theory too has done the same for the real faces behind these characters. The high geek factor present on the show where all the four male leads are scientists with strong interests in technology, comic books and gaming has allowed the show to leverage the boom that has taken place in these fields over the last five years.

The show has been able to leverage the growth in smart-phones, tablets, gaming and social media by creating story plots with frequent references to things like Facebook, Twitter, iPhone etc. Infact a recent episode earlier this year titled the ‘The Beta Test Initiation‘ was dedicated to the Siri virtual assistant on the iPhone 4S. Recently, a study done by Bluefin Labs, indicated that the average number of social-media comments for the first six episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” in 2012 almost quadrupled in a year-over-year comparison.

The Big Bang Theory on Social Media

While most people who follow the show are well aware of its main characters on screen, there is very little that is known about them in real life. For example do you know that Jim Parsons who magnificently essays the role of Sheldon Cooper is 38 years old and gay. In this special feature we take a look at the real lives behind the endearing characters of the Big Bang Theory.

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper

Born in 1973 in Houston, Texas (he also plays a Texan on the show) Parsons studied classical theater, graduating from the University of San Diego in 2001. He then moved to New York and did a number of small roles on television before being finalized for the role of Sheldon Cooper. In his audition, Parsons so impressed series creator Chuck Lorre that Lorre insisted on a second audition to see if Parsons could replicate the performance.

As it turned out, it was Parson’s character that became the lifeline of the show, a fact recognized by him being awarded with two Emmy awards and one Golden Globe award for “Best Actor in a Comic Series“.

Johhny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter

Johhny Galecki is Leonard Hofstadter

Perhaps the most accomplished of all the actors on the show, Johnny Galecki plays the role of experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter who is also Sheldon’s roommate. Born on April 30, 1975 Johnny was born in Belgium where his father was stationed while serving in the US Air Force. The family moved to Chicago when he was 3 years old. When 7, he began performing in such prestigious theater productions as “Fiddler on the Roof“, “Pippin” and “Galileo“. Infact the original concept and first pilot for the Big Bang Theory only had Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki as the two male leads. The series was not picked up, but the creators were given an opportunity to retool the show and produce a second pilot. That’s when they brought in the remaining cast and modified the show to its final format.

Johnny has appeared in movies such as Vanilla Sky (with Tom Cruise) and Hancock (with Will Smith) but didn’t find broad acceptance as an actor till the Big Bang Theory. He too has received an Emmy award nomination for his role as Leonard and even dated his co-star Kaley Cuoco for two years at the same time as their characters were dating on the show.

Kaley Cuoco as Penny

As the only female lead (for the first few seasons) who stand’s out for her physical beauty and looks, Kaley Cuoco plays the pivotal role of Penny and essentially holds the show together. At 26 years of age, Kaley is the youngest actor on the set although she has been in the business since the age of seven and has many television shows and movies to her credit. Like the rest of the cast members she didn’t become a known face till the show became famous, post which her modelling career also took off.

Kaley is now recognized as one of the sexiest stars in the American Television Industry and has appeared on the cover of magazines like FHM, Maxim and Allure (which shot her in the nude). In March, 2012 she announced that she was no longer engaged to her boyfriend Josh Resnik.

Kunal Nayyar as Rajesh Koothrappali

Possibly, the best known Indian face on American Television, Kunal Nayyar plays the role of the endearing Rajesh Koothrappali. His character, of an Indian astrophysicist who suffers from selective mutism has found a lot of fans specially among the Indian community.

Born in London and brought up in New Delhi, India where he attended St. Columba’s School he moved to the US at the age of 18 to complete his BS in Business from the University of Portland. While he was working on his degree he started taking acting classes, appearing in several school plays. After he participated in the American College Theater Festival and won its Mark Twain Prize for Comic Brilliance, he resolved to become a professional actor. He then attended Temple University, where he received a Master of Fine Arts in Acting.

In December, 2011 Kunal got married to former Miss India Neha Kapur in New Delhi, an event that his co-stars could not attend.

Finally there is Simon Helberg who essays the role of Howard Wolowitz as well as two additional characters in Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy (Dr. Mayim Bialik) who became a part of the regular cast in Season 4 of the show.

Are you a fan of the Big Bang Theory? Who is your favorite character? DROP A COMMENT AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS.