B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Madhubala (real name Mumtaz Begum Jehan Dehlavi ) was born on February 14, 1933. She was the 5th of the 11 children to her parents. When Madhubala was 9, Her father relocated her to Bombay to fetch some financial support for the family. Madhubala started working in hindi films to earn some big-time money.
Madhubala’s first film was Basant (1942), which was a re-sounding hit. Madhubala went on to do many more films as a child artist. It was in 1946 that Devika Rani gave her the screen name ‘Madhubala’. Madhubala’s debut as a female lead was at the tender age of 14 in Kidar Sharma’s Neel kamal (1947), where she was paired with Raj Kumar.
Madhubala became a household name with Kamal Amrohi’s Mahal (1949), a thriller where she was paired with Ashok Kumar. She drew all the gazes with her mesemerising beauty and electrifying screen presence.
After Mahal, Madhubala did as many as 24 films in next 5 years, but very few few of them actually were a success at the box-ofice. Madhubala fetched a big hit straight with Guru Dutt’s satirical Mr. and Mrs. 55 (1955). 1958 proved to be Madhubala’s comeback year where she had 4 back-to-back hits Phagun, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Howrah Bridge and Kaala pani. Each film had her In a different stroke, and Madhubala established herself as a truly versatile actress. Madhubala’s best film of her career was undoubtedly K.Asif’s 8 years in the making Mughal e azam (1960). She played Anarkali, a dancer who falls in love with Prince Salim. Madhubala made everyone gasp for breath with her with her Beauty and became immortalised as Anarkali. Mughal e azam went on to be landmark film and broke many box-office records. In the following years, She did two of the most famous comedies of hindi cinema – Jhumroo (1961) and Half Ticket (1962). Madhubala’s last film was Sharaabi (1964), after which she stopped doing films due to serious illness. On febraury 23, 1969 Madhubala passed away due to a heart problem which she had right from her teenage but kept hidden from everyone.
She had a courtship with actor Dilip Kumar for 7 years, but went on to marry actor-Singer Kishore Kumar. She also produced a film Naata (1955), in which she herself a role too.