Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya passes away at 91, India's first Oscar winner

She became the first Indian to win an Academy Award

Mumbai, 15 October: India's first Oscar winner Bhanu Athaiya passed away in Mumbai, on Thursday morning. She passed away at the age of 91.

Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya’s daughter Radhika Gupta told PTI, “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 paralyzed.” The last rites took place at the Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai.


She won the Best Costume Design Oscar for her work in the 1982's film Gandhi. Which stars Ben Kingsley in the title role. She became the first Indian to win an Oscar award.  She managed to give the characters in the Richard Attenborough directorial an authentic look. 


She made her debut as a film costume designer with the film C.I.D. in 1956. She worked on more than over 100 films. And a career as a costume designer spanned over six decades.


She also worked with filmmakers such as Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra, B.R. Chopra, Raj Kapoor, Vijay Anand, Raj Khosla, Ashutosh Gowariker, and international directors such Conrad Rooks and Richard Attenborough.

She also won the National Film Award for Best Costume Design for the film Lekin (1991) and Lagaan (2002).


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