Bhanu Athaiya was a celebrated costume designer who won an Oscar for her work in the 1983 epic film “Gandhi”. In her long career, she worked with many famous filmmakers. As a costume designer, she worked in films such as C.I.D., Lekin, Lagaan, Swades, Prem, 1942: A Love Story, Agneepath, Karz, Mr. Natwarlal, Jaani Dushman among others. She worked with British filmmaker Richard Attenborough for "Gandhi" a 1982 period biographical film based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The film received a leading eleven nominations at the 55th Academy Awards, winning eight including the Best Costume Design.
Born in Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Athaiya began designing costumes for films in the 1950s. Her first break as a movie costume designer came in Dutt's hit film C.I.D. in 1956. Since then Athaiya has worked on more than 100 movies with noted filmmakers such as Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra, Raj Kapoor, and Ashutosh Gowariker. Athaiya 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 spanning five decades, she won two National Awards — for "Lekin" (1990) and "Lagaan" directed by Ashutosh Gowariker (2001). Athaiya won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi along with John Mollo.
Illness and Death
Bedridden in recent years, Athaiya died on 15 October 2020 from complications of a brain tumor. She passed away peacefully in her sleep. Several Bollywood personalities mourned the passing away of Oscar-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya.
Aamir Khan: Bhanuji was one of those film people who beautifully combined accurate research and cinematic flair to bring to life the director's vision.
You will be missed Bhanuji
My heartfelt condolences to the family.
Boney Kapoor: 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.
Resul Pookutty: A gem of Indian Cinema is gone! It’s a personal loss for me, you inspire with your eye for details and with your eversmiling energy.... #RIPBhanuAthaiya @TheAcademy
RichaChadha: The first Indian woman to win an Oscar. Rest in peace.
Bhanu Athaiya is survived by her daughter Radhika Gupta.
(FOLLOWER OF Mrs. BHANU ATHAIYA)
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