Jayachitra was a star in South Indian films of the 1970s and 1980s, consisting mostly of Tamil and Telugu films.
Jayachitra's family is originally from Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India. Her father Mahendra was a veterinary doctor, who had earlier worked as a lawyer. Her mother Ammaji (aka Jayasree) was an actress, who had acted in films such as the Tamil film "Mahaveeran" (1955). They moved to Chennai for work, which was where Jayachitra was born and raised as Lakshmi. Her grandmother looked after her, when her parents were busy with work. With her mother's encouragement, she became a child star at the age of 5 in the Telugu film "Bhaktapothana".
When Jayachitra was in her early teens, she screen-tested for a Telugu film titled "Beedala Paatlu," but the director felt she was too young and rejected her for the role. However, he did recommend her to K.S. Gopalakrishnan, who was looking for a young, spirited heroine, for the Tamil film "Korathi Magan," (1973).
He immediately cast her, because he loved the way she delivered her lines. He signed her for three films under his banner and gave her the name Jayachitra. She continued in heroine roles in "Ponnukku Thanga Manasu" (1973) and played Sivaji's daughter in "Bharat Ratna" and was one of the 9 heroines in MGR's "Navaratnam."
She worked for big-name directors, such as K. Balachander in "Sollathaan Ninaikiren" and Arangetram. She was Kamal Hassan's heroine in the Tamil film Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu (1978) and its Telugu remake Vayasu Pilichindi (1978). As an actress, she was known for her courage and spontaneity as she continued to star in Tamil and Telugu films.
She faced a snake up close in "Vellikizhamai Viratham," and then a tiger in a Telugu film. She made other unforgettable films: "Ponnukku Thanga Manasu", "Sathyam", "Kalyanamam Kalyanam", "Vandikaran Magan", Cinema Paithiyam (remake of the Hindi hit film Guddi (1971)). She memorably played the title role in the Telugu film "Kalpana" (1977), a remake of the Hindi hit film Anamika(1973).
Now she is directing tamil movie staring Amresh Ganesh(her son) titled 'Naane Ennul Illai'