Juhi Chawla

Juhi Chawla

Juhi Chawla was an Indian actor, producer and former model whose career in her home country's Bollywood film industry was prolific, with a procession of critically acclaimed and/or commercially successful hits in her resume stretching back to 1986. To Western audiences, however, she remained a virtual unknown until her small but essential mid-career role in "The Hundred-Foot Journey" (2014), the Steven Spielberg-produced adaptation of Richard C. Morais' book about a family of Indian chefs forced to relocate to France to earn their living. Born in the state of Haryana in the north of India, Chawla first came to prominence as a model and beauty pageant contestant. In 1984 she was the winner of the Miss India title and would go on to compete in the Miss Universe contest in the same year. Such exposure would lead to her debut film role in the flop "Sultanat" (1986), although major success would come with "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak" (1988), a Bollywood reinvention of Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" which would pair her for the first time with leading man Aamir Khan. Throughout the 1990s Chawla was at her peak as a commercially successful Bollywood leading woman, particularly in the early 1990s. She starred in four of 1993's biggest successes, including the particularly well-received "Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke" (1993) and demonstrated a talent for comedy in films like "Yes Boss" (1997) and "Ishq" (1997). She successfully reinvented herself as a serious dramatic actress in art house films, including prison drama "3 Deewarein" (2003) and acclaimed AIDS awareness drama "My Brother Nikhil" (2005). She also broadened her career with charitable work, ownership of the production company Dreamz Unlimited and the Indian cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders, and television presenting for awards ceremonies and one season of "Jalak Dikhhla Jaa," the Indian version of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC 2005).