Divya Om Prakash Bharti,
25 February 1974, Bombay, India
5 April 1993(1993-04-05) (aged 19), Versova, Mumbai, India
Sajid Nadiadwala (m. 1992)
Divya Om Prakash Bharti (also Bharati or Bharathi) (25 February 1974 - 5 April 1993) was an Indian film actress who starred in a number of commercially successful Hindi, Telugu and Tamil films in the early 1990s.
Bharti began a career as an actress in Telugu films with the 1990 film Bobbili Raja. She progressed to Hindi films in 1992 with Vishwatma. Bharti went on to have commercial success with films like Shola Aur Shabnam and Deewana that same year, for which she garnered a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She acted in over 14 Hindi films between 1992 and early 1993.
Bharti died on 5 April 1993 at the age of 19. She fell off her 5-storey apartment in Versova, Mumbai. Eye witnesses reported to have seen her slip down the parapet of her balcony after losing balance. Her death is falsely called a mystery by a lot of conspiracy theorists who do not accept the fact that her death was of accidental nature.
1 Early life,
2.1 1988 - 1990: Early Work and Career Beginnings,
2.2 1990 - 1992: Rise to Stardom in Telugu Cinema,
2.3 1992 - 1993: Rise to Stardom in Bollywood,
3 Personal life
3.1 Death and aftermath,
6 External links,
Divya Bharti was born on 25 February 1974, in Mumbai, India, as the eldest child of Om Prakash Bharti, an insurance officer, and his second wife, Meeta Bharti. She had a younger brother named Kunal and two half siblings who were the result of her father's first marriage. She spoke Hindi, English and Marathi fluently. In her early years, Bharti was known for her bubbly personality and love for life, as well as for her doll-like looks. She is the second cousin of actress Kainaat Arora.
Bharti studied at Maneckji Cooper High School in Juhu, Mumbai, in the same era as actors Farhan Akhtar and Rani Mukherji attended. She was an average student and completed grade 9.
1988 - 1990: Early Work and Career Beginnings:
In 1988, Bharti was discovered by film-maker Nandu Tolani. Upon seeing her, Tolani insisted on signing her for one of his films. At that time, Bharti was in the ninth standard. She was originally scheduled to make her screen debut in Gunahon Ka Devta in 1988, but her role was cancelled.Kirti Kumar noticed Divya at a video library and thus was eager to sign her for his project Radha Ka Sangam opposite Govinda, as he was searching for a new face. Weeks later, Kirti went personally to meet Dilip Shankar and managed to release Divya from their contract. Before the first shot was taken, Bharti was out of the film after being groomed for two years and replaced by Juhi Chawla.
Bharti's career was stalled until D. Ramanaidu, one of the biggest producers of Telugu films, offered her Bobbili Raja opposite his son Daggubati Venkatesh. She commenced shooting for her screen debut. The film was released in the summer of 1990 and became a colossal hit.
Bharti acted in only one Tamil film, Nila Penne opposite Anand. The film was critically and financially unsuccessful.
1990 - 1992: Rise to Stardom in Telugu Cinema:
With more hits, Bharti became a bigger name in Telugu cinema. In box-office ratings, she figured next to Vijayshanti. In 1991, Bharti had back-to-back hits, including Rowdy Alludu and Assembly Rowdy opposite Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu.
Later that year, A Kodandarami Reddy's action romance Dharma Kshetram under Sri Rajeev Productions was released. Bharti got to work for the first time with prominent Telugu film actor Nandamuri Balakrishna who praised Bharti by calling it "an exceptional performance". In Telugu language films, Bharti was always credited as Divya Bharathi.
1992 - 1993: Rise to Stardom in Bollywood:
Bharti's first Bollywood film was Vishwatma opposite Sunny Deol, directed by Rajiv Rai and released on 2 January 1992. The film was an average grosser at the box office, and gained Bharti wider recognition from the public as well as film critics. Notably, the music of the film was very successful, especially the song "Saat Samundar" which became a favorite and put Bharti in the limelight of Bollywood.
A week later, Bharti's next film, Lawrence D'Souza's romantic drama Dil Ka Kya Kasoor, alongside Prithvi, failed at the box office, though was recognized for its outstanding music. However, Filmfare magazines started including Bharti in the list of 1992 Top Ten Best Actress Performances. After Bharti's flops, she was quoted as saying, "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).
In March 1992, David Dhawan's Shola Aur Shabnam was released. It was popular with critics and was a box office hit in India, reviving Bharti's career once again. She received a Lux Face of the Year title. It also gave a big boost to Govinda and launched David Dhawan as an established director. Four months later, Bharti achieved further success in Raj Kanwar's Filmfare-award winning love story Deewana starred veteran actor Rishi Kapoor and newcomer Shahrukh Khan, which is regarded as one of the biggest blockbuster hits of 1992. Her performance in Deewana was highly appreciated. Critics reported that Bharti belonged to a new breed of Hindi film actors who broke away from character stereotypes. Bharti and Shahrukh Khan won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut and Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut respectively. By July 1992, Bharti's work in Deewana was said to have earned her more recognition.
She had several other releases that year, among them Jaan Se Pyaara, Geet and Balwaan. In October, she starred in Hema Malini's Dil Aashna Hai, again co-starring Shahrukh Khan. The film garnered negative reviews and poor box office returns.Hema Malini labelled her role by stating that "The lady has not just looked glamorous but she has walked with symmetry, smiled with austerity and spoke with sangfroid."
Bharti's last film release while she was alive was the ensemble Kshatriya, released just 10 days before her death.
After being falsely linked to a variety of Bollywood actors and other personalities within the film industry, Bharti decided to get married to film producer Sajid Nadiadwala on 10 May 1992, after she had just turned 18. They had met at Film City, when Sajid dropped by to meet Govinda on the sets of Shola Aur Shabnam. Bharti changed her name to Sana Nadiadwala, while still working under the name Divya Bharti. Magazines at that time speculated about Bharti having converted to Islam, this however, has never been confirmed by neither Nadiadwala nor Bharti's family.
Death and aftermath:
Around midnight of 5 April 1993, Bharti fell to her death from a five-storey Tulsi apartment building in Versova, Mumbai. There was much speculation by the media regarding Bharti's sudden demise, including the possibility of suicide, accidental death, conspiracy or even murder.Mumbai Police failed to find any evidence suggesting murder and hence closed the investigation labelled as accidental death in 1998. Some conspiracy theories involved her husband Sajid Nadiadwala, while other theories suggested Mafia complicity. Bharti's body was released to her family, who arranged a cremation ceremony.
Her last completed films Rang and Shatranj were released several months after her death and dedicated to her memory. At the time of her death, she had completed 80% filming of Laadla and Sridevi was recast in her role. Footage of Divya's performance in Laadla was seen in a television program in 1994. She was replaced in several other films she had signed such as Mohra, Vijaypath and Andolan.
Divya Bharati is immortalised in Iran as beauty queen as her portraits can be found along with Sridevi and Amitabh Bachchan in art shops across Iran.
Naa Ille Naa Swargam
Shola Aur Shabnam
Lux Face of the Year
Dil Ka Kya Kasoor
Seema / Shalini Saxena
Jaan Se Pyaara
Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut
Dil Aashna Hai
Laila / Sitara
Dil Hi To Hai