India’s first Oscar winner Bhanu Athaiya passes away at 91

October 16, 2020: Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar winner, passed away in Mumbai on Thursday. She was 91.

DY365
DY365

October 16, 2020: Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar winner, passed away in Mumbai on Thursday. She was 91.

Athaiya’s daughter Radhika Gupta informed, “She passed away early this morning. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with a tumour in her brain. For the last three years, she was bedridden because one side (of her body) was paralysed.”

The last rites took place at the Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai.

Bhanu Athaiya won the Best Costume Design Oscar for her work in the 1982 film Gandhi.

She managed to give the characters in the Richard Attenborough directorial an authentic look. In her memoir The Art Of Costume Design, Athaiya mentioned how she was the only Indian among the heads of department on the film.

Athaiya also designed costumes for Bollywood movies like C.I.D, Pyaasa, Kagaz Ke Phool, Waqt, Arzoo, Amrapali, Suraj, Anita, Milan, Raat Aur Din, Shikar, Guide, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Teesri Manzil, Mera Saaya, Inteqam, Abhinetri, Johny Mera Naam, Geeta Mera Naam, Abdullah, Karz, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Razia Sultan, Nikaah, Agneepath (1990), Ajooba and 1942 – A Love Story among others.

Some of her best designs include Vyjayantihmala in Aamrapaali, Waheeda Rehman in Guide and Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

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