Movies, Age, Biography, Husband, Politics, Filmography
Jaya Prada is an Indian film actress and politician. She was one of the most successful actresses of the 1980s, in both Hindi cinema and South Indian films. She left the film industry at the peak of her career, as she joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 and entered politics.
|Born||3 April 1962, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India|
|Other Name||Lalita Rani|
|Political party||Telugu Desam Party(until 2004)|
Rashtriya Lok Dal, Uttar Pradesh
Jaya Prada was born as Lalita Rani in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. Her father, Krishna Rao, was a Telugu film financier. Her mother, Neelaveni, was a home-maker and a very pious lady. The young Lalitha attended a Telugu medium school in Rajahmundry and was also enrolled in dance and music classes at an early age. In 1986, she married producer Srikanth Nahata, who was already married to Chandra and had 3 children. This marriage stirred a lot of controversy, especially since Nahata did not divorce his current wife and had children with his first wife after marrying Jaya Prada.
Jaya Prada is the recipient of two Filmfare Awards South and has starred in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Marathi films. She was one of the most successful actresses of the 1980s, in both Hindi cinema and South Indian films. She left the film industry at the peak of her career, as she joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 and entered politics. She was a Member of Parliament (MP) from Rampur from 2004 to 2014.
Jaya Prada joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 at the invitation of its founder N. T. Rama Rao, on the eve of the assembly elections, and rose quickly through the ranks. At that time there was speculation that she would run for election, but she preferred not to make her electoral debut, although she was offered a seat by Rao.
She campaigned in several constituencies in 1994. When Rao became the Chief minister in 1994, he appointed one of his sons-in-law Nara Chandrababu Naidu as the Revenue Minister. Soon after the formation of the government, Rao’s health started deteriorating, and in response to the growing influence of his wife, Lakshmi Parvati, on the political decisions of NTR, Chandrababu Naidu convinced a majority of the TDP MLAs to elect him as the chief minister. Since most of the legislators had gone over to his side, the Anti Defection Law did not apply and the Telugu Desam Party label passed on to the Chandrababu Naidu faction. During this period, Prada too joined the Chandrababu Naidu faction of the party. She was nominated to the Rajya Sabha representing Andhra Pradesh in 1996. She also held the post of Telugu Mahila President.
Following differences with party Supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, she left the TDP to join Samajwadi Party. She contested from Rampur parliamentary Constituency in UP during the 2004 General election and got elected with a margin of more than 85000 votes.
She has acted in seven languages: Telugu (her mother tongue), Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi. She said that the only autograph she has ever taken in her life has been from her inspiration, Mother Teresa.
When her days as a docile leading lady started winding down, she went into politics, but she hasn’t given up films and plays stronger, mature roles. In 2005, she did a famous dance show in Mumbai, where she recreated the time and story of the fiery Amrapali through a ballet choreographed by Bhushan Lakandri with music and lyrics by Ravindra Jain. Part of the proceeds from this show were given to Deekshaa, the academy of classical dance and music.
She was just fourteen years old when she was discovered dancing on stage and was cast as a dramatic heroine in her first Telugu film, Anthuleni Katha (1976). The famed director K. Balachander slapped her co-star Kamal Haasan right in front of her for muffing up a scene. Jaya got scared and ran away from the set crying. Her father soothed her feelings by taking her shopping for clothes and jewelry and convinced her to return to the set the next day.
Celebrated Oscar winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray had called her “the most beautiful face on the Indian screen,” a compliment that she cherished so much that she attended his tribute for the release of the book, “The Vision of Ray: Cine Posters & Beyond” (2005) with Sharmila Tagore and Jaya Bhaduri, the two stars that Ray discovered.
Jeetendra and Jaya Prada were romantically paired opposite each other in 25 films and 19 of them were box office hits.They also worked in one more film Sindoor but here Shashi Kapoor was paired opposite Jaya Prada and Jeetendra was supporting actor. Jaya Prada was highest paid Hindi actress from 1985-89 with Sridevi and 3rd highest paid Hindi actress with Rekha from 1990-92 and 3rd highest paid actress along-with Parveen Babi in 1982-84.
Filmmaker Narayana Rao Dasari repeatedly cast her in his films, and she remembered his loyalty when she agreed to take a guest role in the film “Edantastula Meda” (1980) at a time when she was the topmost heroine in films. In that film, he used her name in the song “Chakkani Chukka…Jayaprada” as a tribute to her when he picturized the song on her.
Nephew Siddharth debuted in Tamil films in 2014. In the 1980s, Jaya Prada and Sridevi were fierce rivals. They were of a similar age, from the South and considered contenders for the coveted number one slot in Hindi cinema. Producers loved pairing them up in films, because of their amazing on-screen chemistry. But in public, each would give the other the cold shoulder. Once, during the shooting of Tofha (1984), Jeetendra locked the two warring queens in the same makeup room hoping they’d make up. No such thing happened. Two hours later, when he opened the door, he found the actresses sitting at opposite ends of the room in silence.
However, in 2015, Sridevi attended the wedding of Jayaprada’s nephew and warmly held hands with her former rival. In the intervening 30 years, both had taken separate paths in life, with Sridevi focusing on motherhood, and Jayaprada focusing on politics, so they were no longer in competition to rule the silver screen, and thus were able to mend fences.
When Sridevi died of accidental drowning in 2018, a shocked Jayaprada called it “a bad dream” and talked about how it was Sridevi’s wish that her daughters rule the silver screen like she had. Then, she went to Sridevi’s house to pay her last respects to the family.