Jaya Prada’s father, Krishna Rao, was a Telugu film financier. Her mother, Neelaveni, was a home-maker. She attended a Telugu-medium school in Rajahmundry and was also enrolled in dance and music classes. In 1986, she married producer Srikanth Nahata, who was already married to Chandra and had 3 children. Jaya Prada and Srikanth have no children together.
When Jaya Prada was 14 years old, she performed a dance at her school's annual function. A film director in the audience offered her a three-minute dance number in the Telugu film Bhoomi Kosam. Major filmmakers offered her starring roles in quality films. Director K. Balachander's black-and-white film Anthuleni Katha in 1976 and K. Viswanath's color film Siri Siri Muvva in the same year. Her big-budget mythological film Seetha Kalyanam confirmed her versatility. In 1977, she starred in Adavi Ramudu, which broke box office records and which permanently cemented her star status. Filmmaker Vijay introduced her to Kannada cinema in his 1977 super hit movie Sanadi Appanna alongside Raj Kumar. K. Viswanath remade Siri Siri Muvva in Hindi as Sargam introducing Jayaprada to Bollywood in 1979. The film was successful and she became a star there as well. Saagara Sangamam directed by K. Vishwanath, starring Kamal Hassan proved to be a milestone in her career, winning her lot of accolades Jaya made a successful team not just with Amitabh Bachchan and Jeetendra, but also with her immediate screen rival Sridevi, with whom she has acted in about a dozen films. Their hit Telugu film Devatha was remade into the hit Hindi film Tohfa. Although, she has acted in Bengali films, she has never worked for Ray. In 2002, she stepped into the Marathi film industry by being a guest in the movie Aadhaar. Thus far, she acted in eight languages and has completed 300 films during a 30-year film career. She started playing mature roles in 2004. Jayaprada had a pairing with Aditya Pancholi in Zakhmi Zameen (1990). As she became involved in her political career since 1994, at the age of 32, her involvement with films reduced. Jayaprada joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 at the invitation of its founder, N. T. Rama Rao, on the eve of the assembly elections, and rose quickly through the ranks. And then Prada joined the Chandrababu Naidu faction of the party. Following differences with party Supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, she left the TDP to join Samajwadi Party. Jayaprada made her debut to small screen with Local TV's show Jayapradam where she was the host of the show and interviewed many of the celebrated actors, technicians including Kamal Hassan, Chiranjeevi, K. Viswanath, ANR, Ram Gopal Varma and many others. The show made her closer to the Telugu audience again. Her upcoming movies are Keechaka and Keeravani.