Though he was one of the finest actors to have graced Hindi cinema, Jawahar Kaul has faded from public memory with time. Born on 27 September 1927 in Srinagar, Kashmir, a newborn Jawahar was adopted by his grandfather’s sister and his surname changed from Nehru to Kaul.
After completing his intermediate from Punjab University, he pleaded with his family to let him continue his graduation from Pune University. His main intention was to try his luck out as an actor in the film industry and thus began his struggle. He placed himself in Dadar, the main hub of activity for film personnel. During the day, he looked for work and at night he slept in the office gallery of Prabhat Pictures. An attractive young man, he was soon noticed and he made his film debut with Veer Kunal(1945). He continued to act in a few other small roles for some time.
JawaharKaul befriended Radhakishan Mehra and Prabha Shankar. The friendship of the trio was well known amongst the film circle. Kaul became acquainted with the filmmaker Pyarelal Santoshi through Radhakishan, and Santoshi cast Kaul for his film Shehnai (1947). When Santoshi turned producer, he chose Kaul again as the lead for his first venture titled Khidki(1948). Over the next decade, Kaul played important roles in a number of films including Azadi Ki Raah Par(1948), Sheesh Mahal (1950), Ghayal (1951), Kathputli (1957) and the acclaimed Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam(1962), amongst others. Later in his career, he acquired the status of a character artist with films like Paapi (1977), Pyar Ka Mandir (1988) and Pyar Ka Devta (1991). Pyar Ka Devta was directed by his daughter Shabnam Kapoor.
Dissatisfied with the way his acting career turned out, Jawahar Kaul decided to become a production manager at Jwala Pictures. He also developed a close friendship with Mithun Chakraborty at this point.
JawaharKaul married Clara Kaul, a national level badminton player, in the mid-50s. He was a father to four sons and one daughter. One of his sons looks after the school Children Welfare Centre at Yari Road, set up by Kaul himself.
JawaharKaul passed away on 15 April 2019.