India’s first Oscar winner Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya passes away

India’s first Oscar winner Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya passes away

India’s first Oscar winner Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya died at her home in Mumbai today after prolonged illness. She was 91. Athaiya, who won an Oscar for her work in the 1983 epic film “Gandhi”, passed away peacefully in her sleep. Kolhapur-born Athaiya, who was active till just five years ago, began her career as a costume designer in Hindi cinema with Guru Dutt’s 1956 superhit “C.I.D.”. She went on to work in over 100 films. She jointly won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design with John Mollo, for Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi”. The lavish biopic of Mahatma Gandhi swept the Oscars with eight awards. The veteran who defined
the aesthetics of Hindi cinema through her prolific work, created some of Bollywood’s best remembered looks, including Vyjayantihmala in “Aamrapaali”, Waheeda Rehman in “Guide” and Zeenat Aman in “Satyam Shivam Sundaram”. In a career of more than five decades, Athaiya won two National Awards — for Gulzar’s mystery drama “Lekin” (1990) and the period film “Lagaan” directed by Ashutosh Gowariker (2001).

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