Happy Birthday Madhubala

Madhubala

It's ironic that one of the most beautiful artistes to ever charm the Indian screen, Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi or Madhubala, was born on Valentine's Day, 79 years ago.

Madhubala, the reigning queen of Bollywood's romantic era, rose from a conservative Muslim family to become the most captivating star Indian film industry has ever produced. Starting at the tender age of nine, she got her first break in a lead role five years later in 'Neel Kamal' (1947). The film was produced and directed by her mentor, veteran filmmaker Kidar Sharma.

Even though the actress passed away barely nine days after her 36th birthday, she left behind a long legacy.

After her lead role in Bombay Talkies production 'Mahal' in 1949, Madhubala attained immense popularity.

She starred in 'Howrah Bridge', followed by 'Kalapani' opposite Dev Anand, the perennial hit 'Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi' opposite her would-be-husband, Kishore Kumar and 'Barsaat Ki Raat', opposite Bharat Bhushan.

One of her contemporaries, Dilip Kumar had once said, "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."

Hollywood was also fascinated by the gorgeous screen legend. She was featured in magazines like 'Theatre Arts' there.

She had everything an actress would desire but her love life was in shambles.

She married Kishore Kumar, but was left alone in her last few years, suffering from a heart illness. She succumbed to it after battling it for nine years, on Febuarary 23, 1969.

In this short life, she starred in over 70 films and is till date, one of the most enduring legends of Indian cinema.(written by Isha Rastogi)

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