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Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi
Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi or as she is best known to her many fans, Madhubala, was born on Februray 14, 1933. She began acting when she was only nine years old and become known in the Hindi film industry as Baby Mumtaz. Her early films included Basant (1942), Dil ki Rani (1947), Chittor Vijay (1947), Khubsurat Duniya (1947), Amar Prem (1948), Lal Dupatta (1948) and Parai Aag (1948). However, it was the movie Mahal (1949), a suspense thriller that made her a star. She played opposite Ashok Kumar. “Aaega Aanewala,” remains one of her signature songs today.1
After Mahal’s success she starred in a number of films with the leading men of the day including Dilip Kumar. They included Pades (1950), Tarana (1951), Sangdil (1952), Aaram (1951), Arman (1953) and Badal (1951). By the mid-1950s, many of her major films began to flop. In addition, she became involved with Dilip Kumar and her father’s opposition to him eventually took its toll on her. Eventually, Madhubala came back with a string of successful movies in the late 1950s including Phagun (1958), Howrah Bridge (1958), Kala Pani (1958) and Chalti ka Naam Gaadi (1958).2
In 1960, Madhubala starred in the most famous Hindi movie of all time, Mughal-e-Azam. Her performance in this movie as Anarkali was the highest achievement of her career. She received much acclaim from critics and gained a great deal of popularity.3 Over the years, Mughal-e-Azam has been described as a work of art, a classic and an unforgettable part of Hindi film lore and Madhubala through this film is immortalized as a talented actress and a timeless beauty.4
Shortly, after the release of the enormous success of Mughal-e-Azam she was diagnosed as having a hole in her heart and was forced to cut her career short. Madhubala also found herself in a loveless marriage with Kishore Kumar that lasted until her death on February 23, 1969.5
Madhubala remains a true icon Bollywood even today.