This week on Flashback, we bring you the journey of the timeless beauty Madhubala, by far, the most iconic silver screen goddess India has produced. On her 85th birthday, here’s a look at some of her iconic roles that she played, known for her legendary beauty and her coquettish charm, Madhubala (real name Mumtaz Jahan Begum Dehlavi) was much more than that. If it wasn’t her beauty, then her love life (or may be the lack of it) and her troubled marriage was what people remember her for. Madhubala and Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) were madly in love. Both were superbly matched – successful stars with huge fan following and incredibly good looking. That they shared a faith too should have been a plus. However, it is alleged that her father, the formidable Ataullah Khan, was the reason behind the split. Her marriage to Kishore Kumar (they remained married for nine years) was equally problematic. Whatever the reason, the union was an unhappy one and some say the principle reason was her declining health. Madhubala suffered from an incurable health problem – she had a hole in her heart. It has been reported that she would often bleed from her nose and mouth. By early 1960s, the condition went from bad to worse.
While the story of her life, her beauty, her appeal and her legion of fans have added to her enduring legacy, for nearly 40 years after her death, she is best remembered for her role as the doomed courtesan Anarkali in the iconic Bollywood film, Mughal-e-Azam. However, limiting her legacy to the K Asif film alone would do great disservice to the actor in her. For even in the short career of 27 years (she made her acting debut as a child artist in a film called Basant in 1942), Madhubala acted in a variety of roles.
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