Madhubala, conisdered to be one of the most beautiful actresses, in the history of Indian cinema, was the lead in several iconic silms such as Mahal, Mr and Mrs 55, Tarana, Chalti Ka Naam Gadi and Mughal-e-Azam.
Birth Date: 14 February 1933
Star Sign: Aquarius
Here are some lesser known facts about the actress.
Madhubala started working to support her siblings and parents
Madhubala, (real name Mumtaz), started working in films when she was just 9 years old in order to support her family (as her father had lost his job). And by the time she turned fourteen, Madhubala played the leading lady (in ‘Neel Kamal’) opposite Raj Kapoor in the year 1947.
Professional and driven, changes name to Madhubala, learns English
Post the success of ‘Neel Kamal’, she decided to change her name to Madhubala to find acceptability in the Hindi film industry,
Director Kidar Sharma of Neel Kamal had said that the young Madhubala was a thorough professional — worked relentlessly, skipped meals to focus on her work, and even traveled third class to be on time for work.
Once things started looking better, she learnt to speak English (could not attend regular school because she had to take up work) and was fluent in the language by the time she was 17 years old.
Beautiful actress of all-time
Considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses that the Hindi film industry has ever produced, Madhubala was also referred to as Bollywood’s Marilyn Monroe.
Theater Arts, an American Magazine, called Madhubala ‘The Biggest Star in the World!” (despite Madhubala having never visited Beverly Hills).
A smile that won millions of hearts! #Madhubala ji's mystical on-screen presence won my heart ever since I was a little girl. It was an honour to re-create one of her iconic performances and continue her glorious legacy. Remembering the eternal shining star on her birthday✨ pic.twitter.com/7frfWObVCf
— Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) February 14, 2019
Too many films, but very few hits
While Madhubala was a professional and one of the top actresses, we are not sure if she spent a lot of time analysing the scripts.
Despite working in almost 70 movies, she gave only 15 box-office hits (a low percentage when compared to her peers).
Madhubala also didn’t receive any awards. She received her first Filmfare Award nomination for her role in the 1960 film Mughal-e-Azam (but did not win the award).
Disastrous Love Life
With Dilip Kumar
Madhubala had relationships with several lead actors, but the one with tragedy king Dilip Kumar stands out.
The two actors first met on the sets of ‘Jwar Bhata’. However Madhubala’s father was dead against the relationship, which caused the two to break-up (Madhubala could not go against her father’s wishes). Madhubala’s father realized his mistake after seeing Madhubala turn into a wreck, and even took Dilip Kumar to court, charging him with retracting from a promise to marry her. Read more here.
Years later (after they went separate ways), Madhubala and Dilip Kumar were paired opposite one another in the epic blockbuster film ‘Mughal-e-Azam’. Despite the several love scenes in the film, the two professional actors ensured there was no awkwardness in their performances.
With Kishore Kumar
Heartbroken, as there was no hope of marrying Dilip Kumar, Madhubala is believed to have married Kishore Kumar in a hurry. Madhubala had a disastrous affair with Dilip Kumar while Kishore kumar’s first marriage was a failure.
The two decided to get married as they felt happy in the company of one another. Since Madhubala was a Muslim, Kishore Kumar is said to have converted to Islam in order to marry her and even changed his name to Karim Abdul. However, their married life was not a happy one, Kishore’s family was against her (within a month of their marriage Madhubala moved back to her residence in Bandra as the atmosphere at Kishore Kumar’s home was not welcoming), and she was already diagnosed with her heart problem.
Didn’t take much to be happy
Because of her austere upbringing and a very strict father, it took very little for her to be happy.
Her father would often travel with her to the sets, and the two would head home straight after a hard day’s work; even visitors at home were strictly supervised. All these ensured she didn’t have much social life. Those close to Madhubala believe that the overbearing presence of her father had destroyed her from inside.
She rarely splurged on clothes and jewelry, and instead went out on long drives for relaxing, whenever she got the opportunity (Madhubala had learnt to drive by the age of 12).
Madhubala was also a lover of dogs; her house was full of dogs. Its believed that at one time (in 1959) she had 18 of them in her house.
Madhubala had a hole in her heart, died very young
Madhubala suffered from an heart aliment called ventricular septal defect (hole in the heart) for which she would often go to London for treatment. During one of her trips to London for treatment, the doctors had advised against surgery saying she only had a year more to live. However, she went on to live for nine more years.
Madhubala died at a very young age (soon after she celebrated her 36th birthday).
Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Bob Marley and Madhubala are the ill-fated celebrities who all have died when they were 36 years old.
Her unfinished films
Last film as actor
Her last film ‘Chalaak’ with Raj Kapoor had to be shelved mid-way because of her illness, from which she never recovered.
She wanted to direct a film
Madhubala was preparing to make her directorial debut (in 1969) with a movie named ‘Farz Aur Ishq’. However, the movie could not see the ligth of the day as Madhubala finally succumbed to her heart ailment.