Madhubala

Madhubala

Overview
Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi, known by her stage name Madhubala (Devanagari
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

: मधुबाला) (14 February 1933 – 23 February 1969) was a Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 movie actress. She starred in several successful movies in the 1950s and early 1960s, many of which have attained a classic status. With her contemporaries Nargis
Nargis
Nargis Dutt , born Fatima Rashid but known by her screen name, Nargis, was an Indian film actress. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema. She made her screen debut as a child in Talash-E-Haq in 1935, but her acting carer began in 1942 with Tamanna...

 and Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari , born Mahjabeen Bano, was an Indian movie actress and poetess. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema...

, she is widely regarded as one of the most talented Hindi movie actresses.

Madhubala was born as Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 on 14 February 1933.
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Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi, known by her stage name Madhubala (Devanagari
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

: मधुबाला) (14 February 1933 – 23 February 1969) was a Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 movie actress. She starred in several successful movies in the 1950s and early 1960s, many of which have attained a classic status. With her contemporaries Nargis
Nargis
Nargis Dutt , born Fatima Rashid but known by her screen name, Nargis, was an Indian film actress. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema. She made her screen debut as a child in Talash-E-Haq in 1935, but her acting carer began in 1942 with Tamanna...

 and Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari , born Mahjabeen Bano, was an Indian movie actress and poetess. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema...

, she is widely regarded as one of the most talented Hindi movie actresses.

Early life


Madhubala was born as Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi in New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 on 14 February 1933. She was the fifth child among eleven children of a conservative Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 couple. Her family was a Nawabi family from Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and a branch of the royal dynasty of Mohammadzai (also called Barakzay). Her grandparents were exiled by Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

's army to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

After Madhubala's father, Ataullah Khan, lost his job at the Imperial Tobacco Company
Imperial Tobacco
Imperial Tobacco is a global tobacco company headquartered in Bristol, United Kingdom. It is the world’s fourth-largest cigarette company measured by market share , and the world's largest producer of cigars, fine-cut tobacco and tobacco papers...

 in Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, he relocated his family to Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

. Young Mumtaz entered the movie industry at the age of nine.

Early career


Mumtaz’s first movie Basant (1942) was a box-office success. She played in it as the daughter of the popular actress Mumtaz Shanti
Mumtaz Shanti
Mumtaz Shanti was a famous movie star of the Bollywood yesteryears, she was very popular in the 40's and early 50's with hit movies like Basant , Kismet , Ghar Ki Izzat with young Dilip Kumar...

. She went on to act in several movies as a child artist. Actress Devika Rani
Devika Rani
Devika Rani Chaudhuri Roerich was an early Indian movie star.- Career :Born in Waltair , Devika Rani came from a distinguished background: she was the great-grandniece of the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and her father, Col. M. N. Chaudhuri, was the first Indian Surgeon-General of Madras...

 was impressed by her performances and potential and advised her to assume the name Madhubala, meaning "a woman of honey". Madhubala soon garnered reputation as a reliable professional performer. By the time she entered adolescence, she was being groomed for lead roles.

Her first break came when producer Kidar Sharma
Kidar Sharma
Kidar Nath Sharma also Kedar Sharma , was an Indian film director, producer, Screenwriter, and Lyricist of Hindi films...

 cast her opposite Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor
Known as Ranbir Raj Kapoor Rāj Kapūr, 14 December 1924 – 2 June 1988), also known as The Show-Man, was an Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi cinema. He was the winner of nine Filmfare Awards, while his films Awaara and Boot Polish were nominated for the Palme d'Or at the...

 in Neel Kamal
Neel Kamal (1947 film)
Neel Kamal is a 1947 black and white Bollywood film directed by Kidar Sharma. Although a commercial failure, this romantic melodrama is significant because it features the debuts of two of Bollywood's most important figures, Raj Kapoor and Madhubala...

(1947). She was fourteen when she was given a lead role. The film was not a commercial success, but her performance was received well.

During the next two years, she blossomed into a captivating beauty. After her lead role in Bombay Talkies
Bombay Talkies
The Bombay Talkies Limited was a movie studio produced 102 movies, founded in 1934 in Malad, Bombay , India, by Himanshu Rai, Rajnarayan Dube and Devika Rani along with businessmen like F. E...

 production Mahal
Mahal (1949 film)
Mahal is a 1949 Indian Hindi film directed by Kamal Amrohi and starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala....

in 1949, Madhubala attained immense popularity. Though she was only 16 at the time, her subtle and skilful performance, upstaged her seasoned co-star Ashok Kumar
Ashok Kumar
Ashok Kumar also fondly called Dadamoni was an Indian film actor. Born Kumudlal Ganguly in Bhagalpur, Bengal Presidency he attained iconic status in Indian cinema...

. The movie and the song Aayega Aanewala in it heralded the arrival of two new superstars: Madhubala and playback singer Lata Mangeshkar
Lata Mangeshkar
Lata Mangeshkar is a singer from India. She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India. Mangeshkar's career started in 1942 and has spanned over six and a half decades. She has recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films and has sung songs in over thirty-six regional...

.

Serious illness


Madhubala was found to have a heart problem after she coughed up blood in 1950. She was discovered to have been born with a ventricular septal defect
Ventricular septal defect
A ventricular septal defect is a defect in the ventricular septum, the wall dividing the left and right ventricles of the heart.The ventricular septum consists of an inferior muscular and superior membranous portion and is extensively innervated with conducting cardiomyocytes.The membranous...

, commonly known as a "hole in the heart". At the time, heart surgery was not widely available.

Madhubala hid her illness from the movie industry for many years, but one incident was widely reported by the media in 1954: She was filming in Madras for S.S. Vassan's Bahut Din Huwe when she vomited blood on the set. Vassan and his wife took care of her until she was well again. She continued to work and established herself as an A-grade star.

Madhubala's family was extremely protective of her because of her health problem. When filming at the studios, she would eat only home-prepared food and drink water only from a specific well in order to minimize risks of infection. But her condition took its toll and she died in 1969 at age 36. For most of the 1950s, Madhubala performed successfully despite her illnesss.

Hollywood Interest


In the early 1950s as Madhubala became one of the most sought-after actresses in India, she also attracted interest from Hollywood. She appeared in many American magazines such as Theatre Arts. In their August 1952 issue, Madhubala was featured in an extensive article with a full page photo. The piece was entitled: The Biggest Star in the World (And She's Not in Beverly Hills). It presented the actress as a mysterious and ethereal woman of mythical beauty with a legion of fans.

During this period, on a trip to Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 and its film studios, the American filmmaker Frank Capra
Frank Capra
Frank Russell Capra was a Sicilian-born American film director. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was six, and eventually became a creative force behind major award-winning films during the 1930s and 1940s...

 was pampered and hosted by the elite of the Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 movie industry. However the one star he really wanted to meet was conspicuous by her absence, Madhubala. A meeting to discuss an opening for Madhubala in Hollywood was proposed by Capra. Madhubala's father declined and put an emphatic end to her potential Hollywood film career.

Madhubala as a Star


Madhubala had many successful films following Mahal
Mahal (1949 film)
Mahal is a 1949 Indian Hindi film directed by Kamal Amrohi and starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala....

. With pressure to secure herself and her family financially, she acted in as many as twenty-four films in the first four years of her adult career. Consequently, critics of the time commented that Madhubala's beauty was greater than her acting ability. This was in part due to careless choices in film roles. As sole support of her family, she accepted work in any film, causing her credibility as a dramatic actress to be seriously compromised. Something she later expressed regret over.

She did have aspirations to appear in more prestigious films with challenging roles. Bimal Roy
Bimal Roy
Bimal Roy was one of the most acclaimed Indian film directors of all time. He is particularly noted for his realistic and socialistic films like Do Bigha Zamin, Parineeta, Biraj Bahu, Madhumati, Sujata, and Bandini, making him an important director of Hindi cinema...

's Biraj Bahu
Biraj Bahu
Biraj Bahu is a 1955 Hindi film produced by Hiten Choudhury and directed by Bimal Roy, and based on a novel by Saratchandra Chatterjee. The film stars Kamini Kaushal, Abhi Bhattacharya and Pran. The films music is by Salil Choudhury-Plot:...

(1954) being a case in point. Madhubala having read the novel, was desperate to secure the lead in the film adaptation. Assuming she would command her market price (one of the highest), Bimal Roy
Bimal Roy
Bimal Roy was one of the most acclaimed Indian film directors of all time. He is particularly noted for his realistic and socialistic films like Do Bigha Zamin, Parineeta, Biraj Bahu, Madhumati, Sujata, and Bandini, making him an important director of Hindi cinema...

 passed her over in favour of a then, struggling Kamini Kaushal
Kamini Kaushal
Kamini Kaushal is a Hindi film and television actress, most noted for her roles in films like Neecha Nagar which won the 1946 Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival and Biraj Bahu which won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award in 1955.-Early life:Kaushal was born to a botanist and professor at...

. When Madhubala learned that this was a factor in her losing the part, she lamented the fact that she would have performed in the film for a fee of one rupee
Rupee
The rupee is the common name for the monetary unit of account in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, and formerly in Burma, and Afghanistan. Historically, the first currency called "rupee" was introduced in the 16th century...

. Such was her desire to improve her image as a serious actress.

As a star, Madhubala did ascend to the top of the industry. Her co-stars at the time were the most popular of the period: Ashok Kumar, Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor
Known as Ranbir Raj Kapoor Rāj Kapūr, 14 December 1924 – 2 June 1988), also known as The Show-Man, was an Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi cinema. He was the winner of nine Filmfare Awards, while his films Awaara and Boot Polish were nominated for the Palme d'Or at the...

, Rehman
Rehman
Rehman was an Indian film actor whose career spanned from late 1940s through to late 1970s. He was an integral part of the Guru Dutt team, and most known for his roles in films, like Pyaasa , Chaudhvin Ka Chand , Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Waqt...

, Pradeep Kumar
Pradeep Kumar
Pradeep Kumar was an Indian actor in Bengali and Hindi films.-Career:When Kumar was 17 years old, he decided to take up acting. His started his film career in Bengali films...

, Shammi Kapoor
Shammi Kapoor
Shammi Kapoor was an Indian film actor and director. He was a prominent lead actor in Hindi cinema from the late 1950s until the early 1970s....

, Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

, Sunil Dutt
Sunil Dutt
Sunil Dutt , born Sunil Balraj Dutt, was an Indian Hindi movie actor , producer, director and politician. He was the cabinet minister for Youth Affairs and Sports in the Manmohan Singh government...

 and Dev Anand
Dev Anand
Dharam Dev Anand , better known as Dev Anand , is an Indian Hindi Cinema actor, director and film producer. Dev is the second of three brothers who were active in Hindi Cinema. His brothers are Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and...

. Madhubala also appeared alongside many notable leading ladies of the time including Kamini Kaushal
Kamini Kaushal
Kamini Kaushal is a Hindi film and television actress, most noted for her roles in films like Neecha Nagar which won the 1946 Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival and Biraj Bahu which won her the Filmfare Best Actress Award in 1955.-Early life:Kaushal was born to a botanist and professor at...

, Suraiya
Suraiya
Suraiya Jamaal Sheikh was a singer and actress of the Indian films in the 40s and 50s, and was popularly known by her first name Suraiya..-Early life:...

, Geeta Bali
Geeta Bali
Geeta Bali was a popular film actress from Bollywood.-Early life:Bali was born in a Mohyal family in pre-partition Punjab as Harkirtan Kaur, a Sikh. Her family moved to Bombay and were living in near poverty when she started to get breaks in films.-Career:Bali became a star in the 1950s...

, Nalini Jaywant
Nalini Jaywant
Nalini Jaywant was an Indian movie actress from Bollywood in the 1940s and 1950s.-Personal life and education:...

 and Nimmi
Nimmi
Nimmi was a popular Indian screen actress who achieved stardom in the 1950s and early 1960s in Hindi films. She gained popularity playing spirited village belle type characters, but also appeared in diverse genres such as fantasy and social films.-Early life:...

. The directors she worked with were amongst the most prolific and respected: Mehboob Khan (Amar
Amar (1954 film)
Amar is a 1954 black-and-white Hindi movie. Produced and directed by Mehboob Khan, the film stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Nimmi and Jayant. Amar features music by Naushad with lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni.-Plot:...

), Guru Dutt
Guru Dutt
Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone , popularly known as Guru Dutt, was an Indian film director, producer and actor. He is often credited with ushering in the golden era of Hindi cinema...

 (Mr. & Mrs. '55
Mr. & Mrs. '55
Mr. & Mrs. '55 is a 1955 Bollywood film by director Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt stars alongside Madhubala, supported by Lalita Pawar, Johnny Walker and Jagdeep in this socially critical romantic comedy set in contemporary Bombay. The films music is by O. P...

), Kamal Amrohi
Kamal Amrohi
Syed Amir Haider Kamal Naqvi popularly known as Kamal Amrohi or Amrohvi in Urdu was an Indian film director, screenwriter, and dialogue writer. He was a Shi'a Muslim and an Urdu and Hindi poet. He is most known for his Hindi films such as Mahal , Pakeezah and Razia Sultan...

 (Mahal
Mahal (1949 film)
Mahal is a 1949 Indian Hindi film directed by Kamal Amrohi and starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala....

) and K. Asif
K. Asif
K. Asif was a film director, film producer and screenwriter who was famous for his work for the Hindi epic motion picture, Mughal-e-Azam .-Early life:...

 (Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

) . She also ventured into production and made the film Naata (1955) which she also acted in.

During the 1950s, Madhubala proved herself a versatile performer in starring roles, in almost every genre of film being made at the time. Her 1950 film Hanste Aansoo was the first ever Hindi film to get an "A" (Adults Only) rating from the Central Board of Film Certification
Central Board of Film Certification
The Central Board of Film Certification is a Government of India regulatory body and censorship board of India controlled by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It reviews, rates and censors motion pictures, television shows, television ads, and promotional material...

. She was the archetypal lady fair in the popular swashbuckler, Badal
Badal
Badal is a 2000 Bollywood movie directed by Raj Kanwar. The film stars Bobby Deol and Rani Mukerji in lead roles. The movie is set in 1984 when riots were engulfing parts of Punjab and Delhi. The movie is inspired by The Devil's Own, starring Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford.-Plot:The police are...

(1951) and was next seen as an uninhibitted village belle in Tarana
Tarana
Tarana is a type of composition in Hindustani classical vocal music in which certain words and syllables based on Persian and Arabic phenomes are used in a medium-paced or fast rendition...

(1951). She was convincing as the traditional ideal of Indian womanhood in Sangdil
Sangdil (1952 film)
Sangdil is a 1952 film directed by R. C Talwar. The film is an adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic Jane Eyre. The film stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Dara Singh and Leela Chitnis. The film's music is by Sajjad Hussain.- Cast :...

(1952) and was well received in a comic performance as the spoilt heiress, Anita in Guru Dutt
Guru Dutt
Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone , popularly known as Guru Dutt, was an Indian film director, producer and actor. He is often credited with ushering in the golden era of Hindi cinema...

's classic satire Mr. & Mrs. '55
Mr. & Mrs. '55
Mr. & Mrs. '55 is a 1955 Bollywood film by director Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt stars alongside Madhubala, supported by Lalita Pawar, Johnny Walker and Jagdeep in this socially critical romantic comedy set in contemporary Bombay. The films music is by O. P...

(1955). In 1956 she had success in historical costume dramas such as Shirin-Farhad and Raj-Hath. Equally successful in contemporary characterizations, she was memorable in a double role in the social film Kal Hamara Hai (1959). Madhubala played the cigarette smoking dancer Bella, and her more conventional saintly sister Madhu.

Suddenly in the mid-1950s her films, even major ones like Mehboob Khan's Amar
Amar (1954 film)
Amar is a 1954 black-and-white Hindi movie. Produced and directed by Mehboob Khan, the film stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Nimmi and Jayant. Amar features music by Naushad with lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni.-Plot:...

(1954), fared so badly commercially that she was labelled "Box Office Poison". She turned her career around in 1958, with a string of hit films: Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge (film)
Howrah Bridge is a 1958 film directed by Shakti Samanta. Its name is a reference to Howrah Bridge, which connects Howrah to Kolkata over the Hooghly River. It features the well known Hindi song "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu"which was reused in the film Salaam Bombay!. This song was sung by Geeta Dutt...

opposite Ashok Kumar featured Madhubala in the unusual role of an Anglo-Indian
Anglo-Indian
Anglo-Indians are people who have mixed Indian and British ancestry, or people of British descent born or living in India, now mainly historical in the latter sense. British residents in India used the term "Eurasians" for people of mixed European and Indian descent...

 Cabaret
Cabaret
Cabaret is a form, or place, of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue: a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables watching the performance, as introduced by a master of ceremonies or...

 singer, embroiled in Calcutta's Chinatown underworld. She made a big impact with a daring (for the time) Westernized image, with her cascading locks, deep cut blouses, fitted Capri
Capri
Capri is an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples, in the Campania region of Southern Italy...

 pants and tailored Chinese dresses. Madhubala's sensuous torch song from the film, Aaiye Meherebaan, dubbed by Asha Bhosle
Asha Bhosle
Asha Bhosle is an Indian singer. She is one of the best-known and most highly-regarded Hindi playback singers in India, although she has a wider repertoire. Bhosle's career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand Bollywood movies...

, was a popular hit with audiences, and is widely quoted and celebrated to this day. Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge (film)
Howrah Bridge is a 1958 film directed by Shakti Samanta. Its name is a reference to Howrah Bridge, which connects Howrah to Kolkata over the Hooghly River. It features the well known Hindi song "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu"which was reused in the film Salaam Bombay!. This song was sung by Geeta Dutt...

was followed by Phagun
Phagun
Phagun is the twelfth and last month of the Nanakshahi calendar, which governs activities within Sikhism. This month coincides with February and March of the Gregorian and Julian calendars and is 30 or 31 days long.-February:...

opposite Bharat Bhushan
Bharat Bhushan
Bharat Bhushan was an Indian bollywood actor, scriptwriter and producer, who is best remembered for playing Baiju Bawra in the 1952 film of the same name. He was born in Meerut, and brought up in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.-Personal Life:...

, Kalapani opposite Dev Anand
Dev Anand
Dharam Dev Anand , better known as Dev Anand , is an Indian Hindi Cinema actor, director and film producer. Dev is the second of three brothers who were active in Hindi Cinema. His brothers are Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and...

, the perennial hit Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi is a famous 1958 Bollywood comedy. The film featured Kishore Kumar, his two brothers Anoop Kumar and Ashok Kumar, and Madhubala. Kishore Kumar sang many of the songs in the film, along with Asha Bhosle. The music was composed by SD Burman, and the lyrics were written by...

opposite her would-be-husband, Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar , born Abhas Kumar Ganguly, was an Indian film playback singer and an actor who also worked as lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and scriptwriter.Kishore Kumar was one of India's greatest performers of the late 20th century...

 and Barsaat Ki Raat
Barsaat Ki Raat
Barsaat Ki Raat is a 1960 Bollywood film starring Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Shyama, Mumtaz Begum and K.N. Singh. It was directed by P. L. Santoshi....

(1960), opposite Bharat Bhushan
Bharat Bhushan
Bharat Bhushan was an Indian bollywood actor, scriptwriter and producer, who is best remembered for playing Baiju Bawra in the 1952 film of the same name. He was born in Meerut, and brought up in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.-Personal Life:...

 again.

In 1960, she consolidated these successes, and her super-star status when she went on to appear in the epic mega-budget historical, Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

. This film is widely perceived to be the crowning glory of her career and perhaps the decade of filmmaking in India.

Personal life and controversial court case


Madhubala had a long affair with actor and frequent co-star Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

. They first met on the sets of Jwar Bhata
Jwar Bhata (1944 film)
Jwar Bhata is a 1944 black and white Indian drama film directed by Amiya Chakraborty. It marked the debut of Dilip Kumar who went onto become one of the most famous actors in Hindi Cinema. The film also featured, Mridula, Shamim, Agha, Bikram Kapoor, K. N. Singh, Khalil, and Mumtaz Ali. It was...

(1944), and worked together again in the film Har Singaar (1949) which was never completed or released. It was two years later during the filming of, Tarana
Tarana (1951 film)
Tarana is a 1951 Hindi movie produced and written by K S Daryani and directed by Ram Daryani. The film stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Shyama and Jeevan. The films music is by Anil Biswas-Plot:...

(1951), that their off-screen relationship began. They also became a popular romantic screen team appearing in a total of four films together.

Madhubala was known for keeping a low profile, never making public appearances (with the exception of the premiere for the film Bahut Din Huwe in 1954) and she rarely gave interviews. Film media often speculated over her personal life and romantic liaisons and Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

 was repeatedly mentioned. These rumours were confirmed with a bold and rare public appearance during their courtship in 1955. Madhubala was escorted by Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

 for the premier of his film Insaniyat
Insaniyat (1955 film)
Insaniyat is a 1955 Hindi film produced and directed by S. S. Vasan. The film stars Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Bina Rai, Jayant and Shobhana Samarth. The film songs written by Rajendra Krishna. The films music is by C. Ramachandra. It is remake of 1950 Telugu film Palletoori Pilla .-Cast:*Shobhna...

(1955), a film with which she had no other association. Though this may have been another gesture of gratitude to the producer and director S. S. Vasan
S. S. Vasan
Subramaniam Srinivasan , popularly known by his screen name S. S. Vasan, was anIndian journalist, writer, advertiser, film producer, director and business tycoon...

, who had cared for her earlier when she had taken ill during the filming of Bahut Din Huwe (1954), this appearance was significant for another reason. By attending the premiere officially escorted by Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

, they publicly acknowledged their relationship.

Madhubala's romance with Kumar lasted five years, between 1951 and 1956. Their association was ended following a highly controversial and widely publicized court case. B.R. Chopra, the director of the film Madhubala and Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

 were currently starring in, Naya Daur (1957), wanted the unit to travel to Bhopal for an extended outdoor shooting. Ataullah Khan objected and even claimed that the entire Bhopal schedule was a ruse to give Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

 the opportunity to romance his daughter. Finally, Chopra sued Madhubala for the cash advance she received from him for a film she now had no intention of completing. He also replaced her with South Indian actress Vyjayanthimala
Vyjayanthimala
Vyjayanthimala Bali is an Indian film actress, Bharathanatyam dancer, carnatic singer, dance choreographer, golfer and a Parliamentarian....

. Madhubala obediently supported her father despite her commitment to Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

. Kumar testified against Madhubala and Ataullah Khan in favor of the director B.R. Chopra in open court. The case was lost by Madhubala and her father amid much negative publicity. Up until that point Madhubala had worked hard to gain a reputation as a reliable and professional performer with much good will in the industry. Her image was badly damaged after this episode. Madhubala and Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

 were effectively separated from that point on.

When rediff news spoke to her sister Madhur Bhushan, her account of the story was:
She met her husband, actor and playback singer, Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar , born Abhas Kumar Ganguly, was an Indian film playback singer and an actor who also worked as lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and scriptwriter.Kishore Kumar was one of India's greatest performers of the late 20th century...

 during the filming of Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi is a famous 1958 Bollywood comedy. The film featured Kishore Kumar, his two brothers Anoop Kumar and Ashok Kumar, and Madhubala. Kishore Kumar sang many of the songs in the film, along with Asha Bhosle. The music was composed by SD Burman, and the lyrics were written by...

(1958) and Jhumroo (1961). At the time he was married to the Bengali
Bengali people
The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal in South Asia. They speak Bengali , which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as বাঙালী...

 singer and actress Ruma Guha Thakurta
Ruma Guha Thakurta
-Early life:She was born in 1934 as Ruma Ghosh. She hails from a Brahmo Bengali family. Her father was Satyen Ghosh and her mother was Sati Devi, a singer. Sati Devi's younger sister Bijoya married film director Satyajit Ray. Thakurta had her formal education in many places including Santiniketan...

 . After his divorce, because Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar , born Abhas Kumar Ganguly, was an Indian film playback singer and an actor who also worked as lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and scriptwriter.Kishore Kumar was one of India's greatest performers of the late 20th century...

 was Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 and Madhubala Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, they had a civil wedding ceremony in 1960. His parents refused to attend. The couple also had a Hindu ceremony to please Kumar's parents, but Madhubala was never truly accepted as his wife. Within a month of her wedding she moved back to her bungalow in Bandra because of tension in the Kumar household. They remained married but under great strain for the remainder of Madhubala's life.

Mughal-e-Azam and later work



It was the film Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

that marked what many consider to be her greatest and definitive characterization as the doomed courtesan Anarkali
Anarkali
Anarkali ; Anārkalī ) was a legendary slave girl from Lahore, Punjab . During the Mughal period, she was supposedly ordered to be buried alive between two walls by Mughal emperor Akbar for having an illicit relationship with the Prince Nuruddin Saleem later to become Emperor Jahangir...

. Director K. Asif
K. Asif
K. Asif was a film director, film producer and screenwriter who was famous for his work for the Hindi epic motion picture, Mughal-e-Azam .-Early life:...

, unaware of the extent of Madhubala's illness, required long and grueling shooting schedules that made heavy physical demands on her, whether it was posing as a veiled statue in suffocating make-up for hours under the sweltering studio lights or being shackled with heavy chains. From 1951 through to 1959 Madhubala invested her best efforts into Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

. Post 1956 and her separation from Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

, the film's remaining intimate romantic scenes were filmed under much tension and strain between Madhubala and her now estranged co-star. This emotionally and physically taxing experience is widely perceived as a major factor in her subsequent decline in health and premature death.

On 5 August 1960, Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

released and became the biggest grossing film at that time, a record that went unbroken for 15 years until the release of the film Sholay
Sholay
Sholay is a 1975 Indian action-adventure film produced by G.P. Sippy and directed by his son Ramesh Sippy. It is considered among the greatest films in the history of Indian cinema. Released on 15 August 1975, it stars Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhaduri and...

 in 1975. It still ranks second in the list of all time box-office hits of Indian cinema (inflation adjusted). Despite performing alongside the most respected acting talent of the industry, Prithviraj Kapoor
Prithviraj Kapoor
Prithviraj Kapoor , 3 November 1906 – 29 May 1972) was a pioneer of Indian theatre and of the Hindi film industry, who started his career as an actor, in the silent era of Hindi cinema, associated with IPTA and who founded Prithvi Theatres, a travelling theatre company based in Mumbai, in...

, Durga Khote
Durga Khote
Durga Khote was an Indian actress, starting as one of the foremost leading ladies of her times, she remained active in Hindi and Marathi cinema, as well as theatre, for over 50 years, starring in around 200 films and numerous theatre productions....

, and Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

, critics recognised and appreciated Madhubala's intelligent and multi layered performance. She received some recognition as a serious actress when she was nominated for a Filmfare Award. However she did not win, losing out to Bina Rai
Bina Rai
Bina Rai , , was a leading actress primarily of the black and white era of Hindi cinema. She is most known for her roles in classics such as Anarkali , Taj Mahal , and won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film, Ghunghat .-Early life:Bina Rai born as Krishna Sarin...

 for her performance in the film Ghunghat
Ghunghat (1960 film)
Ghunghat is a 1960 Hindi movie directed by Ramanand Sagar. The film stars Bharat Bhushan, Leela Chitnis, Pradeep Kumar, Bina Rai, Asha Parekh, Helen, Rajendranath, Rehman and Agha. The films music is by Ravi. The film became a hit at the box office. Musically also, it was liked by audience...

(1960). In Khatija Akbar's biography on Madhubala (see reference section), Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar
Dilip Kumar , is an Indian actor and a former Member of Parliament.He lives in Pali Hill, Bandra in Mumbai, India. He is commonly known as "Tragedy King",and is described as "the ultimate method actor" by Satyajit Ray....

 paid tribute to her talent: "Had she lived, and had she selected her films with more care, she would have been far superior to her contemporaries. Apart from being very versatile and an excellent artiste, she had a warm and cheerful nature. God had gifted her with so many things..."

In 1960, Madhubala hit the peak of her career and popularity with the release of back-to-back blockbusters Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

and Barsaat Ki Raat
Barsaat Ki Raat
Barsaat Ki Raat is a 1960 Bollywood film starring Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Shyama, Mumtaz Begum and K.N. Singh. It was directed by P. L. Santoshi....

. She was offered strong, author-backed roles, but her deteriorating health did not permit her to enjoy this period and develop as an actress. At this point Madhubala became so ill that she could not accept any new films or even complete her existing assignments. In the biography by [, her frequent co-star Dev Anand
Dev Anand
Dharam Dev Anand , better known as Dev Anand , is an Indian Hindi Cinema actor, director and film producer. Dev is the second of three brothers who were active in Hindi Cinema. His brothers are Chetan Anand and Vijay Anand. Their sister, Sheel Kanta Kapur, is the mother of renowned Hindi and...

 recalled: "She was so robust and full of life and energy. She was always laughing and enjoyed her work. One could never conceive she was seriously ill. Then one day out of the blue she just disappeared...".

She did have intermittent releases in the early 60s. Some of these, like Jhumroo (1961), Half Ticket
Half Ticket
Half ticket, directed by Kalidas, is a 1962 Bollywood classic film starring Kishore Kumar , Madhubala, Helen and Pran.-Synopsis:Vijay is the good-for-nothing son of a rich industrialist, who becomes bored of his father’s constant railing and the efforts to marry him off, with the intention of...

(1962) and Sharabi (1964), even performed above average at the box-office. However, most of her other films issued in this period were marred by her absence in later portions when her illness prevented her from completing them. They suffer from compromised editing and in some cases the use of "doubles" in an attempt to patch in scenes that Madhubala was unable to shoot. Her last released film Jwala
Jwala
Jwala is a 1971 Bollywood action film directed by M.V. Raman. The film stars Sunil Dutt and Madhubala. This was Madhubala's last film, released two years after her death in 1969. This is also her only film, that is completely shot in color....

, although filmed in the late 1950s, was not issued until 1971, two years after her death. Incidentally, apart from some Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 sequences in Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

, Jwala
Jwala
Jwala is a 1971 Bollywood action film directed by M.V. Raman. The film stars Sunil Dutt and Madhubala. This was Madhubala's last film, released two years after her death in 1969. This is also her only film, that is completely shot in color....

is the only time Madhubala appeared in a colour film.

Final years and death


In 1960, Madhubala sought treatment in London as her condition deteriorated. Complicated heart surgery was in its infancy and offered her some hope of a cure. After an examination the doctors there refused to operate, convinced her chances of surviving the procedure were minimal. Their advice was that she should rest and avoid overexertion, and predicted that she could live for another year. Knowing her death was imminent, Madhubala returned to India, but defied the predictions by living for another 9 years.

In 1966, with a slight improvement in her health, Madhubala tried working again opposite Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor
Known as Ranbir Raj Kapoor Rāj Kapūr, 14 December 1924 – 2 June 1988), also known as The Show-Man, was an Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi cinema. He was the winner of nine Filmfare Awards, while his films Awaara and Boot Polish were nominated for the Palme d'Or at the...

 in the film Chalak. Film media heralded her "comeback" with much fanfare and publicity. Stills from this time showed a still beautiful but pale and wan-looking Madhubala. However, within a few days of filming, her frail health caused her to collapse and the film remained incomplete and unreleased.

When acting was clearly no longer an option, Madhubala turned her attention to film making. In 1969 she was set to make her directorial debut with a film named Farz aur Ishq. However the film was never made, as during the pre production stages, Madhubala finally succumbed to her illness and died on 23 February 1969, shortly after her 36th birthday. She was buried at Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz (Mumbai)
Santacruz or Santa Cruz is a section of the municipality of Mumbai. The Santacruz railway station on the Mumbai Suburban Railway, the Domestic Terminal of the Mumbai Airport and one campus of the University of Mumbai are all located in Santacruz....

 cemetery with her diary by her family and husband Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar , born Abhas Kumar Ganguly, was an Indian film playback singer and an actor who also worked as lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and scriptwriter.Kishore Kumar was one of India's greatest performers of the late 20th century...

. Madhubala's tomb at the Juhu/Santa Cruz Muslim cemetery was carved in pure marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 and aayat
Ayah
Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for sign or proof:"These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth...

s from the Quran as well as verses dedicated to her. Controversially, her tomb was demolished in 2010 to make space for new graves.

Madhubala the icon


In her short life, Madhubala appeared in over 70 films. In all three biographies and numerous articles published on her, she has been compared with Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

 and has a similarly iconic position in Indian film history. Perhaps because she died before being relegated to supporting or character roles, to this day Madhubala remains one of the most enduring and celebrated legends of Indian cinema
Cinema of India
The cinema of India consists of films produced across India, which includes the cinematic culture of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Indian films came to be followed throughout South Asia and...

. Her continuing appeal to film fans was underlined in a 1990 poll conducted by Movie magazine. Madhubala was voted the most popular vintage Hindi actress of all time, garnering 58% of the votes, and out ranking contemporary legendary actresses Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari
Meena Kumari , born Mahjabeen Bano, was an Indian movie actress and poetess. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema...

, Nargis
Nargis
Nargis Dutt , born Fatima Rashid but known by her screen name, Nargis, was an Indian film actress. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema. She made her screen debut as a child in Talash-E-Haq in 1935, but her acting carer began in 1942 with Tamanna...

, and Nutan
Nutan
Nutan Behl , better known as Nutan , was an Indian actress. She appeared in more than 70 Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades...

. More recently in rediff.com
Rediff.com
Rediff.com India is a news, information, entertainment, and shopping portal. It was founded in 1996 as "Rediff On The NeT" and is headquartered in Mumbai, India with offices in New Delhi and New York City, USA....

's International Women's Day 2007 special (see external links), Madhubala was ranked second in their top ten list of "Bollywood's best actresses. Ever" According to the feature, the actresses that made the final list were ranked on "...acting skills, glamour, box office appeal, versatility and icon status -- and the fact that each of them became a figurehead for Bollywood, ushering in a new wave of cinema..."

In 2004 a digitally colorized version of Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

was released and, 35 years after her death, the film and Madhubala became a success with cinema audiences all over again.

In the past decade, several biographies and magazine articles have been issued on Madhubala, revealing previously unknown details of her private life and career. Consequently in 2007, a Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 film Khoya Khoya Chand
Khoya Khoya Chand
Khoya Khoya Chand, is a Bollywood film directed by Sudhir Mishra which released on 7 December 2007. The film stars Shiney Ahuja and Soha Ali Khan in the lead roles with Rajat Kapoor, Sushmita Mukherjee, Sonya Jehan and Vinay Pathak in important roles...

was produced starring Shiney Ahuja
Shiney Ahuja
Shiney Ahuja is an Indian actor who won the Filmfare Best Debut Award for Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi in 2006.- Early life :...

 and Soha Ali Khan
Soha Ali Khan
- Early life :Khan was born into the erstwhile princely family of Pataudi. She has Muslim Pashtun ancestry through Nawabs of Pataudi lineage from her father's side and Bengali Hindu ancestry from her mother's side...

 - the plot included some events loosely based on the life of Madhubala and other vintage film personalities.

In 2008 a commemorative postage stamp featuring Madhubala was issued. The stamp was produced by India Post in a limited edition presentation pack which featured images of the actress. It was launched by veteran actors Nimmi
Nimmi
Nimmi was a popular Indian screen actress who achieved stardom in the 1950s and early 1960s in Hindi films. She gained popularity playing spirited village belle type characters, but also appeared in diverse genres such as fantasy and social films.-Early life:...

 and Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar is an award-winning Indian actor and director in the Bollywood film industry. He is known for acting in and directing films with patriotic themes, and has been given the nickname "Mr Bharat"...

 in a glittering ceremony attended by colleagues, friends and surviving members of Madhubala's family. The only other Indian film actress to be honoured in this manner is Nargis Dutt.

Trivia

  • When Madhubala was an infant, an esteemed Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     spiritual man predicted that she would earn fame and fortune, but would lead an unhappy life and die at a young age.

  • Filmmaker Mohan Sinha taught Madhubala to drive a car when she was only 12 years old.

  • She was an avid fan of Hollywood and after learning to speak fluent English, frequently watched American movies on her home projector.

  • When nervous she suffered from uncontrolled outbursts of giggles and laughter which sometimes antagonised co-stars and directors.

  • When Guru Dutt
    Guru Dutt
    Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone , popularly known as Guru Dutt, was an Indian film director, producer and actor. He is often credited with ushering in the golden era of Hindi cinema...

     first announced his classic film Pyaasa
    Pyaasa
    Pyaasa is a 1957 Indian film produced and directed by Guru Dutt. The film tells the story of struggling poet, Vijay , trying to make his works known in post-independence India...

    (1957) it was with Madhubala and Nargis
    Nargis
    Nargis Dutt , born Fatima Rashid but known by her screen name, Nargis, was an Indian film actress. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Hindi cinema. She made her screen debut as a child in Talash-E-Haq in 1935, but her acting carer began in 1942 with Tamanna...

     in the feminine lead roles. The parts were eventually played by Mala Sinha
    Mala Sinha
    Mala Sinha is an Indian actress, who has worked in Hindi, Bengali and Nepali films. Recognised for her acting talent and beauty, she went on to become a popular leading actress in Hindi films from the early fifties till late seventies...

     and Waheeda Rehman
    Waheeda Rehman
    Waheeda Rehman , is an Indian film actress who appears in Bollywood movies and is known for many successful and critically acclaimed movies from 1950's, 60's and early 70's most notably C.I.D. and Guru Dutt classics such as Pyaasa , 12 O'Clock , Kaagaz Ke Phool , Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam...

     who both became stars with the film.

  • With the exception of Geeta Dutt
    Geeta Dutt
    Geetā Dutt was a prominent singer in India. She found particular prominence as a playback singer in Hindi cinema...

     in Mr. & Mrs. '55
    Mr. & Mrs. '55
    Mr. & Mrs. '55 is a 1955 Bollywood film by director Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt stars alongside Madhubala, supported by Lalita Pawar, Johnny Walker and Jagdeep in this socially critical romantic comedy set in contemporary Bombay. The films music is by O. P...

    (1955), most of Madhubala's memorable songs were dubbed by Lata Mangeshkar
    Lata Mangeshkar
    Lata Mangeshkar is a singer from India. She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India. Mangeshkar's career started in 1942 and has spanned over six and a half decades. She has recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films and has sung songs in over thirty-six regional...

     or Asha Bhosle
    Asha Bhosle
    Asha Bhosle is an Indian singer. She is one of the best-known and most highly-regarded Hindi playback singers in India, although she has a wider repertoire. Bhosle's career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand Bollywood movies...

    . Madhubala proved lucky for both. The songs from Mahal
    Mahal (1949 film)
    Mahal is a 1949 Indian Hindi film directed by Kamal Amrohi and starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala....

    picturised on Madhubala in 1949 were some of Lata's earliest successes; nine years later, Asha's vocals for the actress in four 1958 films established her as a major playback singer, rivaling her own sister, Lata.

  • Madhubala's sister Chanchal was also an actress and bore a striking resemblance to her famous sibling. She appeared in Nazneen (1951), Naata (1955), Mahalon Ka Khwab (1960) and Jhumroo (1961) alongside Madhubala. She also played prominent roles in Mehboob Khan's Mother India
    Mother India
    Mother India is a 1957 Hindi film epic, written and directed by Mehboob Khan and starring Nargis, Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Raaj Kumar. The film, a melodrama, is a remake of Mehboob Khan's earlier film, Aurat...

    (1957) and Raj Kapoor
    Raj Kapoor
    Known as Ranbir Raj Kapoor Rāj Kapūr, 14 December 1924 – 2 June 1988), also known as The Show-Man, was an Indian film actor, producer and director of Hindi cinema. He was the winner of nine Filmfare Awards, while his films Awaara and Boot Polish were nominated for the Palme d'Or at the...

    's Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai
    Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai
    Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai is a 1960 Hindi film directed by Radhu Karmakar...

    (1960).

Filmography

Movie Year
Basant
Basant (1942 film)
Basant is a 1942 Indian film. Music for the film was composed by Indian flute maestro and music director Pannalal Ghosh. With the heroine Mumtaz Shanti and hero Ulhas and Madhubala as a child artist....

1942
Mumtaz Mahal 1944
Dhanna Bhagat 1945
Rajputani 1946
Pujari 1946
Phoolwari 1946
Saat Samundaron Ki Mallika 1947
Mere Bhagwan 1947
Khubsoorat Duniya 1947
Dil-Ki-Rani Sweet-Heart 1947
Chittor Vijay 1947
Neel Kamal
Neel Kamal (1947 film)
Neel Kamal is a 1947 black and white Bollywood film directed by Kidar Sharma. Although a commercial failure, this romantic melodrama is significant because it features the debuts of two of Bollywood's most important figures, Raj Kapoor and Madhubala...

1947
Parai Aag 1948
Lal Dupatta 1948
Desh Sewa 1948
Amar Prem 1948
Sipahiya 1949
Singaar 1949
Paras 1949
Neki Aur Badi 1949
Mahal
Mahal (1949 film)
Mahal is a 1949 Indian Hindi film directed by Kamal Amrohi and starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala....

1949
Imtihaan 1949
Dulari
Dulari
Dulari is a village development committee in Morang District in the Kosi Zone of south-eastern Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 6860 people living in 1262 individual households....

1949
Daulat
Daulat (1949 film)
Daulat is a 1949 Bollywood film directed by Sohrab Modi....

1949
Apradhi 1949
Pardes 1950
Nishana
Nishana
Nishana is a 1995 Hindi-language Indian feature film directed by Raj N Sippy, starring Mithun Chakraborty, Rekha, Paresh Rawal, Pankaj Dheer, Raza Murad, Shafi Inamdar and Aparajita-Plot:...

1950
Nirala 1950
Madhubala 1950
Hanste Aansoo 1950
Beqasoor
Beqasoor
Beqasoor is a 1950 Bollywood film about a simple girl caught in the cross-fire of a deep-rooted sibling rivalry between her upright husband and her scheming brother-in-law. The film is directed by K. Amarnath and stars Madhubala. A moderate box-office success, the film became the seventh highest...

1950
Tarana
Tarana (1951 film)
Tarana is a 1951 Hindi movie produced and written by K S Daryani and directed by Ram Daryani. The film stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Shyama and Jeevan. The films music is by Anil Biswas-Plot:...

1951
Saiyan
Saiyan (film)
Saiyan is a 1951 Bollywood film starring Madhubala, Ajit Khan, and Jayant. A period film depicting feudal India, the plot is a remake of the 1946 American Western, Duel in the Sun....

1951
Nazneen 1951
Nadaan
Nadaan
Nadaan is a 1971 Bollywood drama film directed by Deven Verma. The film stars Asha Parekh and Madan Puri.-Cast:*Asha Parekh - Seema*A. K. Hangal - Seema's Father*Brahma Bhardwaj - Ramprasad Jain*Sulochana Chatterjee - Mrs. Sarla Jain...

1951
Khazana 1951
Badal 1951
Aaram 1951
Saqi 1952
Sangdil
Sangdil (1952 film)
Sangdil is a 1952 film directed by R. C Talwar. The film is an adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic Jane Eyre. The film stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Dara Singh and Leela Chitnis. The film's music is by Sajjad Hussain.- Cast :...

1952
Rail Ka Dibba 1953
Armaan 1953
Bahut Din Huye 1954
Amar
Amar (1954 film)
Amar is a 1954 black-and-white Hindi movie. Produced and directed by Mehboob Khan, the film stars Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, Nimmi and Jayant. Amar features music by Naushad with lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni.-Plot:...

1954
Teerandaz 1955
Naqab 1955
Naata 1955
Mr. & Mrs. '55
Mr. & Mrs. '55
Mr. & Mrs. '55 is a 1955 Bollywood film by director Guru Dutt. Guru Dutt stars alongside Madhubala, supported by Lalita Pawar, Johnny Walker and Jagdeep in this socially critical romantic comedy set in contemporary Bombay. The films music is by O. P...

1955
Shirin Farhad 1956
Raj Hath 1956
Dhake Ki Malmal 1956
Yahudi Ki Ladki 1957
Gateway of India 1957
Ek Saal 1957
Police 1958
Phagun
Phagun (1958 film)
Phagun is a 1958 Bollywood film directed by Bibhuti Mitra. It was the 6th highest grossing film in India of 1958.-Cast:*Madhubala ... Banani*Bharat Bhushan ... Bijan*Jeevan ... Madhal*Kammo *Nishi...

1958
Kalapani 1958
Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge (film)
Howrah Bridge is a 1958 film directed by Shakti Samanta. Its name is a reference to Howrah Bridge, which connects Howrah to Kolkata over the Hooghly River. It features the well known Hindi song "Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu"which was reused in the film Salaam Bombay!. This song was sung by Geeta Dutt...

1958
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi is a famous 1958 Bollywood comedy. The film featured Kishore Kumar, his two brothers Anoop Kumar and Ashok Kumar, and Madhubala. Kishore Kumar sang many of the songs in the film, along with Asha Bhosle. The music was composed by SD Burman, and the lyrics were written by...

1958
Baghi Sipahi 1958
Kal Hamara Hai 1959
Insaan Jaag Utha 1959
Do Ustad 1959
Mehlon Ke Khwab 1960
Jaali Note
Jaali Note
Jaali Note is a 1960 Hindi film directed by Shakti Samanta, based on theme of counterfeit money. It stars Dev Anand along with Madhubala, Om Prakash, Madan Puri, and Helen.Films' music was by O.P...

1960
Barsaat Ki Raat
Barsaat Ki Raat
Barsaat Ki Raat is a 1960 Bollywood film starring Bharat Bhushan, Madhubala, Shyama, Mumtaz Begum and K.N. Singh. It was directed by P. L. Santoshi....

1960
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

1960
Passport 1961
Jhumroo 1961
Boy Friend 1961
Half Ticket
Half Ticket
Half ticket, directed by Kalidas, is a 1962 Bollywood classic film starring Kishore Kumar , Madhubala, Helen and Pran.-Synopsis:Vijay is the good-for-nothing son of a rich industrialist, who becomes bored of his father’s constant railing and the efforts to marry him off, with the intention of...

1962
Sharabi 1964
Jwala
Jwala
Jwala is a 1971 Bollywood action film directed by M.V. Raman. The film stars Sunil Dutt and Madhubala. This was Madhubala's last film, released two years after her death in 1969. This is also her only film, that is completely shot in color....

1971

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