Madhubala, who is highly regarded as 'The Venus of Indian Cinema' and 'The Beauty with Tragedy', was born on a Valentine's Day i.e. February 14, 1933. Madhubala was born as Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi and was fondly called 'Majhlee Appa' at home as she was the fifth child of her parents. (All photos/mid-day archives)
Very few know that Madhubala could speak Urdu and Hindi but she couldn't speak in English. Though she always yearned to learn the language.
She was only 9 when Madhubala made her debut as a child artist with the 1942 film 'Basant'. Madhubala was credited as Mumtaz in films such as Basant, Dhanna Bhagat, Pujari, Phoolwari, Rajputani, where she acted as a child artist.
At the age of 14, Madhubala made her acting debut as a lead actress opposite Raj Kapoor in Neel Kamal (1947). This was the last film in which Madhubala was credited by her birth name Mumtaz. After Neel Kamal, her screen name 'Madhubala' was adopted.
During a cherished career, Madhubala went on to star in numerous classics like Neel Kamal, Mahal, Hanste Aansoo, Mr. & Mrs. '55, Kala Pani, Howrah Bridge, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and of course Mughal-e-Azam.
Madhubala's most iconic film Mughal-e-Azam made headlines because of rumours about her emotional involvement with Dilip Kumar. In fact, Dilip Kumar revealed in his autobiography "Dilip Kumar: The Substance And The Shadow". He has mentioned, "I must admit that I was attracted to her (Madhubala) both as a fine co-star and as a person who had some of the attributes I hoped to find in a woman at that age and time..."
Dilip Kumar had mentioned in his autobiography that Madhubala and he would have been together had her father not tried to make a business venture out of their proposed marriage which did not go down well with the actor, who did not want someone else to dictate his career choices.
Pictured: Madhubala with her frequent co-star Dilip Kumar, with whom she also shared a romantic relationship
In 1960, Madhubala married singer-actor Kishore Kumar. She was 27. It is said that Kishore Kumar and Madhubala had gone to London soon after their marriage for their honeymoon where they learnt that she had only two years to live.
Pictured: Madhubala in one of her many beautiful on-screen avatars.
Well, in the late 50s, Madhubala was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. According to Madhubala's sister, Madhur Bhushan, after the couple returned to India, Kishore Kumar bought a flat for Madhubala in Bandra, where they stayed for a while. However, Kishore Kumar moved out soon, leaving Madhubala alone.
Though the singer would visit Madhubala once in two months and reportedly bore her medical expenses too, Madhubala couldn't be a wife to her devoted husband because of her illness.
Madhubala and Kishore Kumar's marriage lasted for nine years, as the latter died in 1969.
After prolonged confinement to her sickbed owing to a serious heart ailment, Madhubala died prematurely, at the young age of 36.
Pictured: Prithviraj Kapoor visiting Madhubala's grave
Madhubala's last film was Jwala, which released in 1971 - two years after her death. The film, starring Sunil Dutt, is her only film that is completely shot in colour. However, she had done some colour sequences in the black-and-white blockbuster Mughal-e-Azam too.
Pictured: Madhubala and Kishore Kumar in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi.
The eternal beauty, Madhubala is regarded as the most graceful actress to have been part of Hindi film industry, even five decades after she passed away.
On the 86th birth anniversary of Madhubala, we pay tribute by remembering the effervescent actress through a collection of some beautiful rare pictures from her life and times.
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