Born on Valentines Day 1933, Madhubala is said to be one of the Indian filmscreen's most beautiful and charming actresses with a life story more tragic and fascinating than most of the 70 movies she acted in.
She was the 5th of 11 children in a very poor conservative Muslim Pasthun family in India and at a young age a holy man predicted that she would become very successful but her life would be filled with unhappiness.
Her greatest life work can be seen in the movie Mughal-e-Azam (1960) that took 9 years to film where she plays the role of real life historical figure and courtesan Anarkali, who fell in love with the emperor's son Jehangir (played by Dilip Kumar). It's a tragic love story that also reflects in real life. Madhubala and Dilip Kumar had a relationship/affair for 7 years and she wanted to marry him but he was never serious about her and eventually married a 20 years younger actress named Saira Banu.
She was diagnosed with a heart disease in 1950, before heart surgery was available, yet she concealed it from the film industry and continued working hard, at times coughing blood on set knowing she had a large poor family to support. Many of her friends later recount that she was never the same after her relationship with Dilip ended and many say she suffered from a lifelong depression.
She died with a hole in her heart in 1969 after being bedridden for 9 years, and was buried by her family and husband Kishore Kumar (whom she got married to in 1960).
A must see song & video:
In this scene where she sings one of the most beautiful songs in film history Pyaar kiya to darna kya - having loved what is there to fear from the movie Mughal-e-Azam you see her as Anarkali singing to Jehangir (played by Dilip Kumar, the younger man of two men on thrones in the video without a turban, her failed real-life love) and to his father wearing the turban, the emperor, who strongly dissapproved of their love. Madhubala was ill all through the making of the movie including this scene. She starts singing after about 2 minutes.
It is said Madhubala never stopped loving Dilip Kumar and watched the video to Pyaar kiya to darna kya 500 times on her death bed.
It is hard not to be moved by her song to him, whether she is Anarkali singing to Jehangir, or Madhubala singing to Dilip Kumar.