a) Manoj Night Shyamalan:
He doesnt need any introduction. Shot to huge fame after 'Sixth Sense', he was hailed as the next Spielberg, only to gradually disappoint after his first three movies. His last three movies released since 2004 have got mixed reactions from both the critics and the audience. His recent product 'The Happening' has been branded the worst Shyamalan movie so far. Though creepy and all, I came out of the movie hall disappointed. Hope he slowly gets back to his Sixth sense days..
b) Kal Penn:
Kalpen Modi, who changed his name to Kal Penn to suit the American audience, is gradually getting recognition and famous. He is the Kumar of the 'Harold and Kumar' series of movies. His performance as Gogol in Mira Nair's 'Namesake' has been widely appreciated. He is among the rare breed of Indian Americans who have got both artistic talent and academic excellence. He also stars as a doctor in the famous TV series 'House'.
c) Sendhil Ramamurthy:
I came to know about him from one of my students.. it was awkward. I saw 'Heroes', a famous TV series, in which he was the young Geneticist. He looks rugged and handsome. He has a mild Indian accent which is good to hear. While his role in 'Heroes' is quite big, he has appeared in other famous TV shows such as 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Num3ers'. Quite nice to have a Tamil representative in this list.
Though there are others like Mira Nair, Gurinder Chadha, and Shakhar Kapur who direct movies, they are not known among the audience in US because they dont appear on screen. Few other actors such as Ajay Naidu (Office space, pi, and The Guru), Naveen Andrews (Bride&Prejudice, Kama Sutra, Lost and Provoked), Sanjaya Malakar (of American Idol) and of course Aishwarya Rai have tried to make some impression among the American audiene with mixed success. Hope someone raises above the average mark and makes a big impression in Hollywood or American TV.
A Very Very Important P.S.: Happy Birthday to Xander Vijaykanth:
Tamil Nadu's only hope, Puratchi Kalaignar Gaptun Visayakanthukku jora oru salaam podunga!!