Janina Zione Gavankar was born on November 29, 1980, is an American actress and musician of mixed Indian & Dutch descent. Gavankar is also trained as a pianist, vocalist, and orchestral percussionist. She majored in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Gavankar’s is best-known for her more famous roles as Papi, a promiscuous lesbian in The L Word, & Ms. Dewey, the personification of a Microsoft branded search engine who comments about the user’s searches. Gavankar has appeared in theatre, commercials, short motion pictures, independent motion pictures, as well as Barbershop and its sequel, Barbershop 2: Back in Business. Gavankar’s more famous roles include Papi in The L Word, & Ms. Dewey, a Microsoft marketing character. She has also came out in theatre, commercials, short cinemas, independent motion pictures, as well as Barbershop & its sequel, Barbershop 2: Back in Business. Gavankar has came out on Epileptic Gaming’s Up All Night, where she helped review Rock Band, Burnout Paradise, & Army of Two. Gavankar appeared in TV series Stargate Atlantis, Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS. In 2009, she came out in The Cleaner, Dollhouse & Three Rivers. Gavankar will play the voice of “Nikki” in Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey. It has been affirmed that the actress will return to Showtime’s hit series “The L Word”.
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Gavankar is also rumoured to be joining the cast of Grey’s Anatomy for the upcoming fifth season. She has landed a lead role in the new ABC Television supernatural drama The Gates. Gavankar has returned to music with a rethinking of Kanye West’s Love Lockdown. She used to be in Endera, a group signed to Universal Records. She also collaborated on a project for a song called “Tell Me What” in India with Pratichee Mohapatra of Viva, Deep (along with Rock Star Anand Bhatt), and Navraaz. She has had songs licensed to movies & tv, & has played marimba on cinema scores. Gavankar was featured in the San Francisco band Recliner’s music video for their single “Float Away”, as well as the music video for Manu Narayan’s band Darunam.
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