Google has dedicated its doodle on Thursday to the iconic actor of the Indian cinema Madhubala, popularly known as ‘The Marilyn Monroe of Bollywood’. Bangalore-based artist Muhammed Sajid has created the doodle to honour the actor on her 86th birthday anniversary.
Madhubala, who acted in over 70 films, was known for her beauty and elegance. Raised in the slums of what was then Bombay, she supported her family as a child star and soon became a leading lady on screen. She acted in a variety of genres; her movies included Mahal (1949), Dulari (1949), Beqasoor (1950), Tarana (1951), Amar (1954), Mr. & Mrs. ’55 (1955), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Howrah Bridge (1958) and Mughal-e-Azam (1960).
Born on February 14, 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, as Baby Mumtaz. In 1947, she landed the lead role in Neel Kamal with Raj Kapoor 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 an 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 movies in Bollywood history — was undeniable and unforgettable. She later married her Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi co-star Kishore Kumar in 1960.
Over the course of a tragically brief career, Madhubala 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.
Madhubala died at the age of 36 on February 23, 1969, after a prolonged illness.