Google dedicated a doodle to legendary Bollywood actress Madhubala on her 86th birth anniversary. The Doodle remembers Madhubala in her classic pose from the iconic film Mughal-E-Azam starring her and Dileep Kumar in the lead role.
Madhubala an icon of Indian cinema who was also widely known as “The Marilyn Monroe of Bollywood.”
Raised in the slums of Bombay, she supported her family as a child star and soon became a leading lady known for her elegance on screen and considerable acting abilities.
Born in Delhi on this day in 1933, Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi was raised in a town located near the Bombay Talkies film studio. She appeared in her first film at the age of 9, billed as Baby Mumtaz. In 1947 she landed the lead role in Neel Kamal at the age of 14, taking the name Madhubala. As the family’s main breadwinner, she worked tirelessly to support her parents and four sisters. Madhubala appeared in nine films during 1949, including a spellbinding breakout performance in the box office hit Mahal.
While her breathtaking appearance earned comparisons to Venus, Madhubala was a gifted actor with an understated style well suited for comedies, dramas, and romantic roles alike. She fell in love with Dilip Kumar, her costar in the 1951 romance Tarana, but her father, who managed her career, interfered. The actors’ chemistry in the epic historical drama Mughal-e-Azam—one of the most popular and expensive movies in Bollywood history—was undeniable and unforgettable.
Madhubala suffered from an heart aliment.
She did travel to London for treatment but the doctors advised against surgery saying that she only had a year more to live. She beat the odds and survived for nine years after that.
Appearing in over 70 films over the course of a tragically brief career, Madhubala—who would have turned 86 today—was called “The Biggest Star in the World” in 1952 by Theatre Arts magazine. In 2008 she appeared on a commemorative postage stamp in India, where she is remembered by many as one of the greatest to ever grace the silver screen.