Mumtaz gave a fabulous performance in her maiden film Basant (1942). Devika Rani was amazed by her performance and talent and changed her name to Madhubala. In the movie Jwar Bhata (1944), she was to play the lead role with Dilip Kumar. But, things did not materialize and she could not work in the film. But, this gave her an opportunity to know Dilip Kumar.
Madhubala got a major break, when she was signed opposite to Raj Kapoor in Kidar Sharma's film 'Neel Kamal' (1947). She was more often referred to as the "Venus of the Screen". Within a span of two years, she established her career and came into limelight. She constantly kept climbing the ladders of success and her films were super hit. Mughal-e-Azam turned out to be the biggest hit. In her short lifetime, she worked in seventy films.
Madhubala’s relationship with actor Dilip Kumar was an open secret. However their relationship ended on an unpleasant note. It was speculated that her family was opposed to the marriage as they depended on her money. When she walked out of a movie Naya Daur, a court case was filed against her and Dilip Kumar testified against her.
She was seen with Dilip Kumar in Taraana (1951) about lovers who are separated. They were seen together in Sangdil (1952) which was inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Guru Dutt’s Mr & Mrs 55 (1955) was a comedy.
After this, she married Kishore Kumar in 1960 after he divorced his wife Ruma Guha Thakurta.
In a routine check up, it was discovered that Madhubala had a hole in her heart. Her ailment was kept secretive from the film industry. The doctors refused to operate on her, as there was virtually no hope of survival. The doctors said that even if the operation is successful, she won't live for more than a year. It was at that point of time that, she realized that she shouldn't have married Kishore Kumar. She passed away on the February 23, 1969.