The eighties was dominated by gorgeous ladies from the South like Jayaprada, Vijayashanthi and Sridevi and Jayaprada was the most gorgeous among them. Jayaprada in a sari was a visual treat to millions of viewers and brands which wanted to promote Saree's. Infact it is difficult to find an Indian heroine who is more beautiful than the ravishing Jayaprada. The great Satyajit Ray once said that Jayaprada is among the most beautiful women in the world.
Jayapradha was born in 1962 and by the team she was 14 she was already a star in Telugu movies. Her real name was Lalita Rani. In 1977 when Jayapradha was just 15 she was co starring with superstar of the South and living legend N T Rama Rao who was delivering one block buster after another in succession. She was already a huge star in regional movies by the tine she was introduced to Bollywood in 1979 through Sargam. The film went on to become a huge super hit and Jayaprada already a big name in South, went on to became a household name in India. Jayaprada bagged the national award for the best actress for her role in the block buster Sargam. When Jayaprada won the national award she was only 17 years old.
In India generally actresses are classified into two categories. In the first category there are actresses who look beautiful but are never known for any great talent while in the second category of actresses are known for their talent but are not as good looking like Shabana Azmi. Jayaprada is one of those rare heroines like Vijayashanthi and Sridevi who are blessed with talent and gorgeous looks. While actresses like Vijayashanthi consistently delivered hits in regional movies, Jayaprada did one better delivering hits in Telugu and Hindi movies simultaneously and on a consistent basis.
Jayaprada's unique talent lied in the fact that she formed a perfect pair with any hero. She was comfortable with N T Rama Rao the superstar of South who was 40 years older to her, as was she with Jeetendra her favourite co star in Hindi who was 20 years older to her. While she looked comfortable with heroes in the top rung, she was equally comfortable with heroes who were not in the top league or those who played supporting roles to her in heroine orinted films. Jayapradha later confessed in her career that Jeetendra was her closest friend in the industry and her favourite co star. Their onscreen chemistry was so brilliant that they consistently delivered block busters like Swarag Se Sunder, Sanjog and Tohfa to name a few. In fact Jeetendra who has a reputation of co starring with almost every top heroine especially South Indian beauties, acted in the most number of movies with Jayaprada as his co-star and Jayaprada on her part has never acted in more number number of films than with any other hero.
While Jayapradha attained instant fame by the time she was 15, Jayapradha faded early because she looked more at home with senior heroes like Jeetendra or his Telugu counterparts to the audience. Her greatest strengths i.e her mature beautiful looks in sarees went against her when senior heroes with whom she got paired quit films or faded way. The audience those days who were accustomed to seeing Jayaprdada to perfection clad in beautiful sarees were not willing to accept her in less glamourous western outfits as was the norm in movies during the later part of her career when younger heroes took over the scene from seniors like Amitabh and Jeetendra.
Eventhough Jayapradha quit movies years back she will remain forever in the minds of millions of Indians as the most beautiful heroine ever to have acted in Indian movies.