'Overlooked' Madhubala Compared To Marilyn Monroe In Foreign Media Obit

Madhubala was introduced to the readers as: "A Bollywood legend whose tragic life mirrored Marilyn Monroe's."

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'Overlooked' Madhubala Compared To Marilyn Monroe In Foreign Media Obit

Madhubala died when she was only 36-years-old . (Image courtesy: queenmadhubala)

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Madhubala was listed in the obituary series, titled "Overlooked"
  2. The piece chronicled the rise and fall of Madhubala
  3. She had made some 70 films in her a career spanning two decades
On International Women's Day on March 8, The New York Times published obituaries of 15 "remarkable women" and among them was late actress Madhubala, whom they introduced to their readers as: "A Bollywood legend whose tragic life mirrored Marilyn Monroe's." The obituary series, which was titled "Overlooked," started with a note, which read: "Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now we're adding the stories of 15 remarkable women." Of Madhubala, The New York Times' Aisha Khan said: "She died... as an icon of beauty and tragedy - her dazzling career, unhappy love life and fatal illness more dramatic than any movie she starred in."

The obituary piece was published a month after her 85th birth anniversary and it recollected her top films and also, her unforgettable dance numbers including Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu from Howrah Bridge to her folk song in Phagun.

The piece also chronicled Madhubala's international stardom and said that a New York magazine which published from 1916 to 1964 had called her "the biggest star in the world."

Madhubala started her Bollywood journey when she was only nine-years-old in 1942 film Basant. When she was 14, she starred in Neel Kamal opposite Raj Kapoor, which was her first lead role. But her breakthrough film arrived two years later - Mahal. In a career spanning two decades, Madhubala featured in nearly 70 films including Mughal-e-Azam, Mr. & Mrs. '55, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Barsaat Ki Raat and Half Ticket.

Madhubhala was born with ventricular septal defect, a hole in her heart, which led to her demise when she was only 36-years-old. "In her final days, according to her sister, Madhubala would say: 'I want to live. Please God, let me live'," read The New York Times piece.

The other "remarkable women" mentioned in the series were activists Ida B Wells and Qiu Jin, photographer Diane Arbus, poet Sylvia Plath, mathematician Ada Lovelace and Olympic athlete Margaret Abbott.

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