Jayachitra was born to Mahendra was a veterinary doctor, who had earlier worked as a lawyer and Ammaji (a.k.a. Jayasree) was an actress, who had acted in films such as the Tamil film "Mahaveeran" in 1955. With her mother's encouragement, she became a child star at the age of six in the Telugu film "Bhakta Potana". She made her debut as an actress in a Tamil film Korathi Magan in 1973, directed by K.S. Gopalakrishnan. He signed her for three films under his banner and gave her the name Jayachitra. She continued in heroine roles in Ponnukku Thanga Manasu, Bharata Vilas and 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 and its Telugu remake Vayasu Pilichindi. She made other unforgettable films are Ponnukku Thanga Manasu, Sathyam, Kalyanamam Kalyanam, Vandikaran Magan, Cinema Paithiyam, a remake of the Hindi hit film Guddi. After more than a decade as a heroine, she married an industrialist, Ganesh in 1983. She has a son with him named Amresh. Later, she became a character actress in K. Balachander's film Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal. After completing 200 films, she turned to television with the serial "Sumangali," which she produced, directed and acted in. It became a hit, and she was soon acting and producing other serials, "Alaigal," and "Sivaranjini". She was unanimously elected chairperson of the action committee of the TV Serial Producers' Guild of South India, which in turn led to her involvement in politics. She joined the Congress party and has remained fairly active. She cast herself as the heroine in the Tamil film Puthiya Ragam in 1991, which marked her debut as a director and producer.