Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 11:28 UK

House star quits for Obama role

Kal Penn in a scene from House
Kal Penn has a string of screen roles to his credit

Hollywood actor Kal Penn has taken a job in the administration of President Barack Obama.

The star, who appeared in US TV drama House and comic movie Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, will work in the Office of Public Liaison.

Penn's role will be to connect the President with Asian, Pacific Island communities and arts groups.

The actor recently made a dramatic exit from medical drama House in the US. The show also stars Hugh Laurie.

Speaking to US journalists, the 31-year-old said he felt his calling was in public service.

"It's not like I'm retiring from acting. I certainly intend to come back at some point," he added.

Penn supported Obama throughout his election campaign and spoke at the President's inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

A starting date for his new job is yet to be fixed.

The actor is best known on the big screen for his role as a marijuana-smoking student in the Harold and Kumar movies.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific