Madhubala (February 14, 1933 - February 23, 1969) the woman who was born on Valentine's Day and became India's sweetheart struggled to find true love all through her life is one of the most gorgeous actresses to have graced the screens of Bollywood.Madhubala is an epitome of beauty, who had an unbeatable charm. She is admired for her looks and work even by the present day generations.
At a tender age of 9, Madhubala, then known as Mumtaz Begum, was signed in for the film Basant in 1942. It was only a matter of time that Madhubala shot to fame and her work in the 1949 film Mahal got her the success she rightfully deserved. She was just 16.
Her life was full of struggle,when she was 9 as her father lost his job. She was one of five children in the family and her earnings helped the family to survive hard times. Her first film as child artist was Basant (1942), was a box-office success.As a child actress she went on to play in several movies. Actress Devika Rani was impressed by her performance and potential, and advised her to assume the screen name 'Madhubala'.
By the time she turned 14, Madhubala was playing the leading lady (in ‘Neel Kamal’) with Raj Kapoor in 1947.
It was in 1954 when the gorgeous Madhubala was shooting for SS Vasan’s film Bahut Din Huwe and during the shooting, she vomited blood, reportedly, for the very first time. She resumed shooting soon after being treated and everybody presumed that she was perfectly alright until she fainted while shooting with Raj Kapoor for the 1957 film Chalack.
It was diagnosed that she had a serious condition of cyanosis and poor oxygen perfusion, colloquially referred to as a “hole in the heart”. And it’s our collective loss that during that time, the medical community’s understanding of the condition was in its infancy and there was no available treatment.
On the one hand, she was fighting for her life and doing justice to her art, and on the other, she was traversing and struggling with her personal life. Madhubala was engaged to the legendary actor Dilip Kumar. However, their relationship reportedly went south because Madhubala’s father wasn't happy with it.
Madhubala left Dilip Sahab soon after and subsequently, married Kishore Kumar. Well, things were looking up for her but the doctors soon informed her that she won’t live for long. The tragedy only deepened with Kishore Kumar buying her a house in Mumbai, only to leave her alone.
In 1960, Madhubala was at the peak of her career and popularity with the release of Mughal-e-Azam and Barsaat Ki Raat. She did have intermittent releases in the early 1960s. Some of these, like Jhumroo (1961), Half Ticket (1962) and Sharabi (1964).Her last film released was Jwala in 1971.
Isn’t it ironical that the beautiful and charming leading heroine of Indian films, who was growing into a vibrant and serene actor, accumulating recognition around the world, was also slowly and simultaneously degenerating into a fragile being, who’s plight was only known to a few.
Another tragedy was that She acted in 70 films but most of her films were flops.Only 15 films were hit,still she was the most saught after heroine of her time.but another irony was that she spent her last days in depression and loneliness. What was once the most beautiful face to ever grace the silver screen, full of freshness, vibrancy and youth, was left alone to perish.
She succumbed to her illness on February 23rd, 1969, and passed away, leaving behind a timeless remembrance, full of beauty, grit and ‘feathers’.
Best Of Madhubala's Song