Adored for her mesmerising beauty by millions of fans and still remembered for her specular performances on the Indian silver screen, Divya Om Prakash Bharti was an Indian film actress and model, who starred in a number of commercially successful Hindi and Telugu motion pictures in the early 1990s. She was a much sought-after star in the 1990s and acted with all the leading actors of the time. Her premature and unfortunate demise on 5 April 1993 at the age of 19 came as a big shock to the nation. Films like Rang and Shatranj were released several months after her death and dedicated to her memory. Both the movies were box-office hits.
Best remembered for her invincible performances in movies like Shola aur Shabnam, Vishawtma, and Deewana, Divya Bharti was one of the finest actresses of her time. Her beauty alongwith acting skills brought her par with actresses like Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi. She was honored with Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for her film Deewana, a 1992 blockbuster hit . No doubt she was one of the most promising actresses of her time. Her soaring and glorious career however faced an abrupt end owing to her mysterious death at the age of 19.
Born on 25 February 1974 in Bombay to Om Prakash Bharti, an insurance officer, and his wife, Meeta Bharti, Divya Om Prakash Bharti since her childhood days used to imitate the roles of many actors and actresses. An average student she attended Maneckji Cooper High School in Juhu and completed IXth standard before pursuing an acting career. She had a younger brother Kunal Bharti. Known for bubbly doll-like looks she converted to Islam and adopted the name Sana, to marry love of her life director Sajid Nadiadwala. Both married on 10 May 1992 at Mumbai in an Islamic wedding ceremony. Divya Bharti died on 5 April 1993 at the age of 19 after falling off the balcony of her five-story apartment in Versova.
Life and times of Divya Bharti was no less than a fairy tale with a tragic end. She saw many ups and downs in her acting career. Discovered by Nandu Tolani she was scheduled to make screen debut in Gunahon Ka Devta in 1988, but her role was cancelled. Though signed by Kirti Kumar for his project Radha Ka Sangam opposite Govinda, she was eventually dropped and replaced by Juhi Chawla. After experiencing a lot of disappointment in Bollywood, she moved to South India only to land up again in Bollywood with flying colors. Her movie Bobbili Raja staring Daggubati Venkatesh was a blockbuster hit and remains to this day one of the most popular Telugu movies. Though her only Tamil film, Nila Penne opposite Anand crashed at box office still she was successful in Telugu Cinema with number of hits like Rowdy Alludu and Assembly Rowdy opposite actors Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu.
Rise to Stardom in Bollywood
After attaining much success in Telugu Cinema she was approached by numerous directors of Bollywood. Her first Bollywood film Vishwatma though an average grosser till date is remembered for melodic song "Saat Samundar" song which brought her in the limelight of Bollywood. Next she was signed in movies like Dil Ka Kya Kasoor, Jaan Se Pyaara and many others. Despite initial failures she found place in Filmfare magazine's "Top Ten Best Actress Performances" of 1992. Bold and passionate she was not deterred by box office reports and once said "I wanted to prove myself. But I've fallen flat on my face. Now, I have to begin my climb all over again. Yet, I'm positive that one day, success will be mine." (Stardust, March 1992). She was right as in the coming years Bharti gave blockbuster hits like Shola Aur Shabnam which fetched her Lux Face of the Year title. Others like Deewana starring veteran actor Rishi Kapoor and newcomer Shahrukh Khan also did well at box office. As a newcomer Bharti alongwith Shahrukh Khan won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut and Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut respectively.
Her success was well received in Bollywood and directors of all genre lined up to sign her in their movies. She was considered an epitome of success. Between 1992 and early 1993 she acted in over 14 Hindi films which is to date an unbroken record for a newcomer in Bollywood. She was cast opposite to newcomers like Shahrukh Khan and Sunil Shetty. Her pairing with Govidna in Shola Aur Shabnam and Shahrukh Khan in Deewana was much appreciated. No doubt during her heydays she worked with all top actors and directors which brought her at par with actresses like Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi. After Vishwatma she again paired up with Sunny Deol in Kshatriya which also co-starred Sanjay Dutt and Raveena Tandon. Sadly it was the last movie release during her lifetime.
Due to her untimely death many of her roles in films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Laadla, Mohra, Kanyadaan, Vijaypath and many others were offered to other leading actress of those days. Two of her completed films Rang and Shatranj were released several months after her death and dedicated to her memory. Many likes Parinaam with Akshay Kumar & Chaal pe Chaal with Jackie Shroff never released. Rambha who slightly resembled Bharti was taken onboard to complete Telugu film Tholi Muddhu.
She rose to the pinnacle of glory but faded soon after. Divya Bharti died on 5 April 1993 around 11:45 PM after falling from the balcony of her five-story Tulsi apartment building. She was immediately rushed to hospital but died in the ambulance in the way to the hospital. Her cause of falling was never officially confirmed. Conspiracy theories like suicide, or even murder kept arising with times to come. After post-mortem her body was handed over to her family members who arranged a cremation ceremony. Celebrities like Govinda, Hema Malini, Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Sangeeta Bijlani, Sridevi, Manisha Koirala, Asha Parekh, offered condolences to bereaved family members at their residence.
Spouse: Sajid Nadiadwala
(FAN OF Mrs. DIVYA BHARTI)
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