Janardhana Rao (Telugu: జనార్ధన రావు) famously known as Johnny Lever (Hindi: जॉनी लीवर,) is an actor in Hindi cinema known as a comedian of great regard, who has appeared in several films since the 1980s playing comic supporting roles.
Johnny Lever started off as a comedian in real life while still at school. His beginnings as a comedian in his village consisted mainly of imitations of his teachers, his father and his grandfather. He could not study much though and dropped out of school when he was in seventh grade.
Lever got his first break in Indian cinema was in the film Dard Ka Rishta, thanks to the late Sunil Dutt, who saw him perform at a charity show organized by Kalyanji-Anandji. Since then, Johnny has worked in more than 160 films.
Even though he mimics many people, he has created a style of his own which makes him unique. His younger brother Jimmy Moses, is too, a stand-up comedian and mimcry artist.
He also starred on Zee TV on his own show called Johny Aala Re. In 2007, he also appeared as a judge on the stand-up reality show Comedy Circus.
He often appears in cameos with Shahrukh Khan.
National Anthem Controversy
On 8 December 1998, Johnny Lever was convicted and sentenced to seven days imprisonment for disrespect to the Indian National Anthem and Indian Constitution during a private performance in Dubai. According to the Police, this private performance was on the occasion of birthday party of the son of Anis Ibrahim, brother of international smuggler and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim.
He is married to Sujatha and they have two children Ishak and Jesse.