Bhanu Athaiya, India’s First Oscar Winner For Her Costume Designs In ‘Gandhi’, Dies At 91



oi-Srushti Jayadev


Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, who became India’s first Oscar winner for her work in Gandhi, has passed away at the age of 91. According to her daughter, Bhanu peacefully breathed her last in her sleep on Thursday (October 15), after a prolonged illness.

Bhanu Athaiya, India’s First Oscar Winner, Dies At 91

PTI quoted her daughter Radhika Gupta as saying, “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.”

Athaiya began her career as a costume designer with the 1956 super hit film C.I.D, produced by Guru Dutt. In 1982, she won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, sharing it with John Mollo. However, she returned her Oscar to the Academy in 2012 for safe-keeping.

In a career spanning five decades, Athaiya had worked in over 100 films. She won two National awards – one for the 1990 film Lekin, and the other for 2001 film Lagaan, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker.

Boney Kapoor led the Hindi film industry in mourning the loss. He tweeted, “Bhanu Athiya was the First Indian to win an Oscar in 1983. Her achievements brought glory to Indian cinema and Pride to the entire Country. Was blessed to have her for our film #Prem. She will always be an inspiration to all costume designers n stylists. #RIPBhanuAthiya.”

Bhanu Athaiya, India’s First Oscar Winner For Her Costume Designs In ‘Gandhi’, Dies At 91ALSO READ: Kannada Music Composer Rajan Dies At 85

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