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National News

Oct 15, 2020
8:59PM

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

Tweeted by @AIR
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.

Her last rites took place at the Chandanwadi crematorium in south Mumbai.

According to her daughter Radhika Gupta, eight years ago,Athaiya was diagnosed with a tumour in her brain and for the last three years, she was bedridden as her body was paralysed.

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.

In 2012, Athaiya returned her Oscar to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for safe keeping.

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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