She made her debut in Bollywood with Basant in 1942 as a child actress. She later made her debut as the lead actress in Neel Kamal opposite Raj Kapoor. Though the movie was not a commercial success, it earned her positive reviews.
Her major breakthrough in Bollywood however was another story. A role declined by Suraiya changed Madhubala’s fate. She starred in Mahal and there was no looking back for her. She later went on to goive hits like Dulari, Beqasoor and Tarana.
Yes, she was the most beautiful woman. But there were also a lot of other things about madhubala. She was the first actress to get attention from Hollywood.
She was the first actress to appear in an American magazine Theatre Arts, the article which she was featured in had a full page photograph of her and the title read: “The Biggest Star in the World – and she’s not in Beverly Hills”. (http://films.hindi-movies-songs.com/madhubala-biggest-star-o.pdf) Wow! that’s saying something!
Her movie Hanste Aansoo was also the first ever Hindi film to get an “A” (adults only) certificate form the Central Board of Film Certification. Madhubala never restricted herself from taking up any character, at her time, she was on a roll. She played the role of an inhibited village beauty in Tarana and then the role of a traditional ideal Indian woman in Sangdil. She also portrayed the spoilt heiress in Anita and in Mr. & Mrs. ’55. And then there was Mughal-e-Azam. In the brief period of 17 years, she appeared in over 70 movies of which only 15 were commercially successful. But that did not stop the producers or directors from offering her roles. Partly because she was extremely popular, to an extent that it was just unfair for others.
Even with her deteriorating health and her break up with Dilip Kumar, she continued to film for Mughal-e-Azam. Her health kept going down and Madhubala stopped accepting any new offers. She left this world at a very young age of 36. Had she been with us she would have been to this date the best actress in Bollywood