Meet actress who started as extra, rejected lead role in BR Chopra's Mahabharat, hid marriage to billionaire because...

This star of the 90s rejected a big role in BR Chopra's Mahabharat and later married a business tycoon but secretly

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Meet actress who started as extra, rejected lead role in BR Chopra's Mahabharat, hid marriage to billionaire because...
Juhi Chawla


In the 1980s, there was no age bar in beauty pageants in India. Unlike today, when girls younger than 18 cannot participate in big pageants like Miss India, the lower age limit in those days was 16 or even 15 in some cases. This enabled a young 16-year-old aspiring model to be crowned Miss India in 1984 and embark on a career that saw her reject India’s biggest TV show and marry a multi-millionaire businessman.

The actress who was an extra, then rejected Mahabharat

This girl was Juhi Chawla. After being crowned Miss India, Juhi started as an extra in a small part in the 1986 film Sultanat. Her breakthrough came in 1988 with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak opposite Aamir Khan. However, had it not been for a decision, it could easily have been another sensational hit released that year – BR Chopra’s Mahabharat. As per reports, a 20-year-old Juhi was approached to play Draupadi in the show but felt she was not right for it. She chose QSQT and embarked on a successful career. In the 90s, Juhi was among the most successful and highest-paid Bollywood actresses, appearing in hits like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, Darr, Yes Boss, and Ishq.

Juhi Chawla’s secret marriage to billionaire Jay Mehta

In 1995, at the peak of her career, Juhi Chawla married Jay Mehta, a businessman. However, the actress kept her marriage a secret for years. Juhi said she did this to save her career. In an interview to journalist Rajeev Masand, Juhi revealed a few years ago, “I was just about established and just starting to do well. That’s the time Jay was serenading me, and I was afraid of losing my career just when I kind of got there. So, I wanted to carry on and this seemed the midway, that let’s keep it quiet and it’s okay, you carry on working.”

Juhi Chawla’s later career

In 2000s, Juhi turned producer with friend Shah Rukh Khan establishing Dreamz Unlimited. From 2003, she began appearing in independent films like Jhankaar Beats and My Brother Nikhil. After 2010, Juhi has been acting intermittently, appearing in Son of Sardaar, Gulaab Gang, and Chalk and Duster. She made her small screen debut with Alt Balaji’s The Test Case and later appeared in Prime Video’s Hush Hush.

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