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Madhubala

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Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi, better known as Madhubala and widely regarded as the most beautiful actress in the history of Indian Cinema, was born on the 14th of February 1933 to Attaulah Khan and A...More

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Mughal-E-Azam
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Mahal

Biography

Madhubala
Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi, better known as Madhubala and widely regarded as the most beautiful actress in the history of Indian Cinema, was born on the 14th of February 1933 to Attaulah Khan and Ayesha Begum.

She had 10 siblings, 5 of who died before the age of 6, leaving her parents to fend for 6 daughters with a meager income. A fire in 1944, burnt down their house making their situation direr. That’s the point at which 9-year-old Madhubala and her father, began to visit Mumbai and do the rounds of studios, looking for work. That’s also when she met a fellow child artist, Baby Mahajbeen, looking for work. The other child grew up to be her contemporary-Meena kumari. Madhubala’s debut was as a child artist in the movie Basant in 1942. The movie did well, though she had not yet acquired the name Madhubala.

In her brief career, Madhubala did as many as 70 movies. She essayed every kind of role available to heroines and starred opposite every big star of the 50’s.
In her, close to 20, years in Bollywood, she received much acclaim for many of her roles and her movies, which included classics like Mahal, Chalti Ka Naam Gaddi, and Mughal E Azam. He last release was in 1971, but the movie, Jwala, was actually shot in the 50’s. Her greatest hit and most famous movie though remains Mughal E Azam.


Much has been written and speculated about her personal life, which by all accounts was very private. But it is mostly acknowledged that Madhubala died a very lonely person. Her much talked about relationship with Dilip Kumar, always remained in the shadows of her father's disapproval and finally Dilip Kumar's reluctance. Her subsequent marriage with Kishore Kumar, who she barely knew, was rumored to be quite detached and by some accounts, not happy. It is said that, while Madhubala’s illness was known, the fact that her illness was terminal was only discovered after her marriage. That reportedly was the downfall of a very shortlived relationship, with Kishore Kumar virtually abandoning the relationship.

Madhubala died of a ventricular septal defect (basically a hole in the heart) in 1969 when she was just 36. Until her last day, she fought her illness bravely. When she wasn’t able to act, she took on direction, but never managed to make a movie as a director. Her unfinished directorial debut was called Farz Aur Ishq. Despite her short-lived career, she remains one of India’s most revered actresses. From a commemorative postage stamp to tributes and references, she is an integral part of Bollywood and references to her beauty and looks continue to be made aplenty.

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