Madhubala (born Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi; 14 February 1933 – 23 February 1969) was an Indian actress and producer who worked in Hindi cinema. In a career spanning more than 20 years, she was predominantly active for a decade only but had appeared in over 60 films by the time of her death in 1969. Fifty-two years later, she continues to be held in high regard, with her portrayals of strong-willed, independent characters being seen as a significant departure from the regular portrayals of women on the Indian screen in old Hindi movies.

She was especially famed for her beauty, so much so that her accomplished acting was often overlooked. Her role as a ghostly young woman in the supernatural suspense movie 'Mahal' (1949), in which she acted opposite Ashok Kumar, made her a star. After Madhubala starred with Dilip Kumar in the romance 'Tarana' (1951), the pair were linked romantically. They appeared together again in 'Sangdil' (1952), a loose adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, and in the drama 'Amar' (1954). Critics and film historians have unanimously described her portrayal of Anarkali in 'Mughal-e-Azam' as one of the finest performances in history.

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