Juhi Chawla is a renowned Indian actress and producer of Bollywood films. She was born on November 13, 1967 in Ambala, Haryana in India. She studied at the Fort Convent School in Mumbai and took an HR course at the Sydenham College. In year 1984, she bagged the
Miss India title at the Femina Miss India beauty pageant. In the same year, she also got the Best in Costume award at the Miss Universe pageant, which was held at Miami, Florida in USA. Juhi is a trained Kathak dancer and classical singer. She got married to
Jay Mehta, an industrialist, and they have two children namely Jhanvi and Arjun.
She has worked predominantly in many Hindi films and few Punjabi, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Bengali films. She made her debut in the film industry in year 1986 through the Bollywood film, Sultanat, along with
Sunny Deol and Dharmendra. Subsequently, she acted in the Kannada blockbuster, Premaloka, which features Ravichandran and Leelavathi in the lead roles in year 1987. Her performance in the film was praised by the critics and the audience. She made her first major role as an actress in the very successful Bollywood romantic drama film, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in 1988, alongside
Aamir Khan in the lead role. Because of her brilliant performance in the film, she was praised by the critics and gained a nomination for Best Actress at the 34th Filmfare Awards. She also bagged the Lux New Face Award at the said event. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak attained the cult status from then till now.
In the year 1990, she acted in the Bollywood action film, Pratibandh, which stars Chiranjeevi in the lead role. The film became a box-office hit and her performance was once again appreciated by the audience and the critics. Juhi also earned another nomination at the Filmfare for Best Actress award. In the same year, she was seen in another hit entitled Swarg, together with
Rajesh Khanna, Madhavi and Govinda. Juhi made an appearance in the blockbuster hit film, Bol Radha Bol as Radha, a village girl. She then received another nomination at the Filmfare for Best Actress. Later that year, she acted in the Bollywood comedy film, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, together with
Shah Rukh Khan,
Amrita Singh and
Nana Patekar. SRK attributed the success of the film to Juhi since she is already a big star during that time while SRK is a newcomer.
By the year 1993, Juhi acted in four top-grosser films. The first one was with Sunny Deol in the Bollywood action film, Lootere. The film became a box-office, and her girl-next-door image and performance was praised by the critics. This was followed by another blockbuster hit film, Aaina, together with
Jackie Shroff and Amrita Singh in the lead roles. The film solidifies her place as the leading lady of the 1990s. Next to it was Mahesh Bhatt’s romantic comedy film, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, where she acted in the lead role opposite Aamir Khan. Critics claimed that this is Juhi’s best performance in her career. Juhi and Aamir’s team up was well praised by the critics. Aamir was considered as the funniest actor in the history of Hindi films, and no actor can match up to it. This time, Juhi finally earned the Best Actress Award at the 39th Filmfare Awards, while the film bagged the Best Film Award. Juhi’s last release in the year 1993 was the romantic thriller film, Darr: A Violent Love Story, which was produced and directed by
Yash Chopra. It stars Sunny Deol and Shah Rukh Khan in the lead roles. The film became a blockbuster after the release and was also one of the top-grossing films of the year. All the success that she got made her the most accomplished actress of the year.
Most of her films in the year 1994 to 1996 failed to make it to the box office aside from the Hindi drama film, Naajayaz with Ajay Devgn and
Anil Kapoor-starrer entitled Loafer that were both moderately successful at the box office. Juhi also acted in the Hindi thriller film, Daraar, helmed by Abbas-Mustan. She played the role of a battered wife in the film, from which she received critical acclaim and a nomination at the Filmfare.
In 1997, she acted in the romantic comedy films
Yes Boss, Ishq and Deewana Mastana. These films became very successful and earned her major critical and commercial success. She also earned her sixth nomination at the Filmfare for her performance in Yes Boss. In the same year, she was seen alongside
Akshay Kumar in the Hindi comedy film, Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi. The film became an average grosser, and her performance received positive reviews and appreciation by the critics and the audience.
In 1998, Juhi acted with Mahesh Bhatt’s Duplicate, opposite Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role. She was once again praised by her notable performance in this film and her chemistry with her lead actor was much appreciated. Later, she acted in the comedy film, Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate, together with Anil Kapoor. She appeared in the Hindi film, Arjun Pandit with Sunny Deol in the year 1999. This film became successful at the box office, and she earned favorable reviews for her performance.
In the 2000s, she started to appear in art and independent films including the critically acclaimed films, 3 Deewarein with Jackie Shroff,
Nagesh Kukunoor and
Naseeruddin Shah, 7 1/2 Sphere with Irfan Khan and My Brother…Nikhil with
Sanjay Suri. Her performance as a documentary filmmaker earned her the Best Supporting Actress award at the Star Screen Award. In 2007, she was seen in the multi-starrer romantic drama anthology film, Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love. She was starred in the 2006 Bollywood film,
Bas Ek Pal, along with
Urmila Matondkar and with Manoj Bajpai in the Hindi drama film, Swami in 2007. She also acted in the Bollywood supernatural comedy film, Bhoothnath, alongside
Amitabh Bachchan. Juhi made her singing debut in this film as she sang Chalo Jaane Do in the year 2008. In the same year, her film with
Irrfan Khan entitled Krazzy 4 failed to make it to the box office. She made a guest appearance in Zoya Akhtar’s
Luck By Chance in 2009, from which she dyed her hair and performed a comedic role.
Juhi appeared in several Punjabi films including Des Hoyaa Pardes in year 2004, Waris Shah: Ishq Daa Waaris in 2006 to name a few. She made her debut in the Malayalam cinema through the 1998 detective comedy film, Harikrishnans, together with the superstars of the Malayalam films, Mohanlal and Mammootty. When she was just starting her film career, she also acted in some Kannada films including Ravichandran’s Premaloka in 1987.
In 2011, Juhi was starred in the critically acclaimed anthology film, I am, which was helmed by Onir. She was seen in the episode; I Am Megha together with
Manisha Koirala. She earned the London Asian Film Festival for Best Actress and a nomination at the Filmfare for Best Supporting Actress for her outstanding performance in the film.
She continued her career appearing in art films and doing guest appearances or supporting roles all through the years. She made a comeback in the year 2014 through the women-centric crime drama film,
Gulaab Gang, alongside
Madhuri Dixit. She bagged nominations at the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Star Screen Award for Best Actress in a Negative Role. This is the first time that she acted as an antagonist in her entire career, and it was widely appreciated and gained her rave reviews. Eventually, she won the highest Indian award, Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Best Actress for her memorable performance in the film. Juhi was also seen in the Hollywood film, The Hundred Foot Journey, which was produced by Steven Spielberg.
Aside from consistently acting in the big screen, Juhi has been a television presenter and hosted several TV shows and award ceremonies including the Zee Cine Awards and Filmfare Awards. She became a jury in the third season of the dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, together with
Vaibhavi Merchant and
Saroj Khan. She turned producer and established her very own production house called Dreamz Unlimited along with Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker,
Aziz Mirza. The company produced the Bollywood comedy drama film, Phir Bhi Deil Hai Hindustani in 2000 and the epic historical drama film, Asoka in 2001. Their first success came from their third film venture, Chalte Chalte.
Juhi was involved in several social causes and charities. She supported the fight against the fatal disease called Thalassaemia and had organized some events to raise money for it. Juhi and his husband are the co-owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders alongside Shah Rukh Khan under their very own, Red Chillies Entertainment.
Recently, she was seen in the Bollywood film, Chalk n Duster as the school teacher.