Meet actor who sold pens for living, tried to end his life at 13; worked with Govinda, Shah Rukh Khan and went on to become the king of comedy

While we say 'King of comedy', the major hint is already out but if you still cannot guess who the man of brilliance this is, scroll down to read the first paragraph.

Updated on May 25, 2024  |  12:37 AM IST |  243K
Image Credit: Venus Entertainment (YouTube)
Meet actor who tried ending his life at 13, worked with Govinda-SRK, became king of comedy

He made the world laugh with his mimicry skills and became one of the most sought-after comedians of Indian showbiz. His real name is John Prakash Rao Janumala and the man of finest skills has served the industry for almost five decades now. Can you guess who he is and the struggle many don’t know about?

Today we are talking about the brilliant actor Johny Lever. While we have largely seen him tickling our funny bones, many aren’t aware of his struggle story.

The growing-up years of Johny were filled with struggles. With his dad being an alcoholic, it was tough for him. “We used to ask for money from my uncle for basic groceries. We used to feel bad to ask our aunt for money again and again”, Lever once revealed on Twinkle Khanna’s show. 


He further shared how initially he supported his family alongside his schooling but after 7th standard, Johny chose to do odd jobs full-time. “I used to live in the slums so when I came back from school, I used to work at a liquor shop. Whatever money I used to earn, I would give it for the household expenses”, he shared.

Not just that he used to sell pens and if not he used to perform impressions of actors like Ashok Kumar and Jeevan to earn money. It was when things turned really troublesome for Johny he decided to end his life. While speaking to Ranveer Allahabadia on his podcast, the 66-year-old confessed, “I had gone to die near the railway tracks at the age of 13, I was fed of my father.”

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It was tough but only he could do this.

Johny made his debut in showbiz with Rajendra Kumar’s 1981 film Yeh Rishta Na Tootay and ever since then there was no looking back for him. The actor went on to share screens with the biggest of stars in the country including Govinda, Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, and many more.

This is one of those rarest Rags to Riches stories that always inspires the world and Johny Lever as a happy-go-lucky guy continues to make us smile.

ALSO READ: Johnny Lever reveals Shah Rukh Khan was weak in dancing, says Salman Khan is moody and tension-free

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About The Author

Aditya Sagar is an Entertainment Journalist who holds a true-blue Bollywood heart and has his ears tuned to the

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