Madhubala was considered as the screen goddess during her era, her on-screen presence captivated millions of hearts. People still remember her vivacious energy and impish charm. Madhubala was born on 14th February 1933 in Delhi to Ataullah Khan and Ayesha Begum. Madhubala started her career at the tender age of 9 years.
Dev Anand who worked with Madhubala in 8 movies was bemused by her giggles. In his autobiography, 'Romancing with Life' Dev Anand mentioned this about Madhubala.
Here is an excerpt, "I remember Kala Pani the most for Madhubala, its leading lady, the most beautiful of all the heroines in the fairyland of films, with her natural looks, always as fresh as morning dew, sans heavy make-up, false eyelashes, contact lenses or scanty dresses fashioned by designers to impart artificial glamour that would titillate male curiosity. Her childlike innocence was accentuated by the most noticeable trait of her character, her famous giggle."
"Every time I think of her, I hear her giggle outside my make-up room, followed by a knock at the door that announced her arrival. `So you have arrived! Ho-ho-ho!’ I would greet her. And her ‘Yes, I have’ was always substituted by another giggle. She was forever giggling at the slightest pretext."
"Nobody knew when the next bout of giggles would come, and once it did, how long it would last! Many times she would suddenly start giggling during a take when the camera was on. The lights had to be switched off indefinitely and tea ordered until she was able to get a hold of herself and rein in her mirth. The great giggler was perhaps laughing at the world around her that did not know that she had a damaged heart, and would die quite young."
Madhubala had a ventricular septal defect (a hole in her heart) which was detected while she was shooting for Bahut Din Huwe in Madras in 1954. She died on 23 February 1969, shortly after her 36th birthday.