Divya Bharti had a brief innings of superstardom before she died suddenly on 5 April 1993 at age 19.Coincidentally Shah Rukh’s first two films starred Divya Bharati.
Hema Malini’s Dil Aashna Hai and not Deewana was supposed to be Shah Rukh Khan’s debut film.Hema’s initial release on December 18 1992 got delayed because of the Babri Masjid demolition and the subsequent unrest in the country. Technically however Dil Aashna Hai was SRK’s first film.It finally released on December 25, two weeks late.
Divya Bharti was an instant star.
Recalling how she signed Shah Rukh Hema Malini had told me how he met her as a newcomer in Mumbai and when she told him, she was turning director, he insisted on being in the film. “I told him very bluntly that the film was based on the girl Divya Bharti’s character. He could play her boyfriend which was a brief role. He insisted on playing the role. I wish I could give him more to do. Dil Aashna Hai was through-and-through the girl’s story. Divya was sensational in my film.I wish she had lived much longer . She would have touched the sky,” Hema expressed regret.
Dil Aashna Hai was ripped off from the Shirley Conan bestselling novel Lace.
Both SRK’s debut and sophomore films co-starred Divya Bharati. SRK recalled Divya as hardworking and focused star material.Death snatched her away before she could get the stardom she deserved. In 1992 Divya had two releases Deewana and Shola Aur Shabnam, both superhits.
Divya’s death affected at least 12 film that were underproduction.
Recalls producer-director Pahlaj Nihalani, “Divya Bharti’s death threw the film industry in a turmoil. At least 10-12 film with her in the lead were on the floors when she suddenly plunged to har death. All of them had to be scrapped and resumed from start with another heroine.Her death was a big loss for the industry.Whatever she touched turned into gold.”
In Laadla, Divya was replaced by Sridevi. In Mohra and Dilwale, Raveena Tandon took her place. In Dhanwan Divya was replaced by Karisma Kapoor. In Vijaypath Tabu sang her way to stardom with Ruk ruk ruk after Divya had to be replaced. In Angrakshak Pooja Bhatt replaced the ill fated actress and in Kartavya it was Juhi Chawla.
Almost all the above films were superhits.
Kajol would not have met her future husband Ajay Devgan if she had not replaced Divya Bharti in Hulchul.