For her 30th death anniversary, a look back at Shah Rukh Khan’s old interview where he talked about Divya Bharti and her compliments for him after Deewana.
Shah Rukh Khan and Divya Bharti in a still from Deewana (1992).
Shah Rukh Khan’s early films Dil Aashna Hai (1992) and Deewana (1992) were both opposite Divya Bharti. He made his film debut with her in Deewana. On April 5 2023, it will be 30 years since she died. The young actor, who was married to producer Sajid Nadiadwala, died after falling from the fifth floor balcony of her building in Mumbai. She was only 19. Shah Rukh recalled how he found out about her death in Delhi. He also called her a ‘stunning’ actor and added that her process was different to his more serious approach. Their pairing was quite beloved by audiences.
Divya made her film debut in 1990 with the Tamil feature Nila Pennae. She acted in several south films before breaking through with Vishwatma and the song Saat Samundar in 1992. That was a landmark year for the actor as she had 12 film releases. She also picked up the Lux New Face of the Year for Deewana at the Filmfare Awards in 1993. The actor had a promising career ahead of her which was cut short by her death.
Speaking to NDTV in an old interview, the actor had said, “Divya Bharti was, I think, stunning as an actor. She was most unlike an actor, like I thought of myself. I was a serious kind of guy and she was this completely whacky, fun-loving girl.
I remember I had finished dubbing in Sea Rock Hotel. I dubbed [for] Deewana. I walked out of Sea Rock, I saw her and said hello. She looked at me and said, ‘You’re not just an actor, you’re an institution.’ I was very touched by that. I said, wow. I didn’t understand it, so I quickly went and read up the meaning of the saying. I realised that it meant a lot.”
Remembering how he came to know about her untimely death, Shah Rukh said, “I pray for her soul. I was sleeping in Delhi and they were playing my song, Aisi Deewangi. I thought I’ve become a big star.
I didn’t know how to become a big star. The film was a big hit. Suddenly there were these songs playing and I woke up in the morning and I saw that she had died. She had fallen off from a window. It was one of the biggest shocks, because I think I was supposed to do another film with her.”
Divya’s last film was Kshatriya in 1993. Rang, Tholi Muddhu and Shatranj were all released after her death.