Nov. 29th, 1980
Joliet, Illinois, USA
Janina Gavankar's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Janina Zione Gavankar (born November 29, 1980) is an American actress and musician. Gavankar is also trained as a pianist, vocalist, and orchestral percussionist. She majored in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Born in Joliet, Illinois, to Pete and Mohra Gavankar. Her maternal grandmother was Dutch, and her mother, Shan-de-Mohra is half-Indian and half-Dutch, from Pune, India. Her father, Pete Gavankar, was an Indian engineer who first travelled to the United States to pursue a masters degree. He passed away in January 2012.
Gavankar has acted in theatre, film, television, and online. Her most notable roles include Papi in The L Word, Ms. Dewey, the personification of a Microsoft live search engine, Shiva, the namesake of the sought after trophy on The League, and, most recently, shapeshifter Luna Garza on HBO's True Blood.
She regularly appears in Funny or Die shorts.
In 2006 she joined the cast of The L Word as a series regular, and shot all of the clips used for Ms. Dewey. In 2007, she landed a lead in CW pilot Dash 4 Cash. In 2008, Gavankar appeared in TV series Stargate Atlantis, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, My Boys, and Factory. In 2009, she appeared in the TV shows The Cleaner, Dollhouse, Three Rivers, and The League, as well as indie movies Men, Interrupted, Indian Gangster, and Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey. Gavankar played the voice of "Nikki" in Quantum Quest. She landed a lead role in the now-canceled ABC Television supernatural drama The Gates.
Gavankar is an admitted gamer and has appeared on, as well as co-hosted, G4 TV's Attack of the Show!, Epileptic Gaming's Up All Night, where she helped review Rock Band, Burnout Paradise, and Army of Two. As of 2011 Gavankar has become a series regular in HBO's True Blood. She plays a public school teacher and shapeshifter named Luna Garza, who gets romantically involved with one of the main characters of the series. Her indie movie Satellite of Love premiered at the Dallas International Film Festival in 2012, and her 2012 indie I'm Afraid of Virginia Wolf is currently in post production.