Veteran costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar winner, is no more. She passed away at her home on Thursday after prolonged illness, her daughter informed. She was 91. Her daughter Radhika Gupta told PTI that she passed away peacefully in her sleep. She said that Bhanu Athaiya had been diagnosed with a brain tumour eight years ago and she had been bedridden for the past three years as one side of her body had been paralyzed.
“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," Bhanu Athaiya’s daughter Radhika Gupta told PTI. Bhanu Athaiya’s last rites were performed at the Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai.
Bhanu Athaiya had won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi along with John Mollo. Born in Kolhapur, Bhanu Athaiya started her career designing costumes for Guru Dutt’s 1956 film C.I.D. She worked with some of the top filmmakers over the years, including Yash Chopra, B. R. Chopra, Vijay Anand among others. She designed costumes for numerous films including Lagaan, Pyaasa, Chaudvin Ka Chaand, Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam. She also wrote a book titled ‘The Art Of Costume Design’. In 2012, Bhanu Athaiya had returned her trophy to the Academy, and she had said in an interview that she had wanted to return it as her family wouldn't be able to take care of the trophy after her demise.
Bhanu Athaiya won two national awards- one for Lekin in 1991, and another one in 2002 for the film Lagaan. Shah Rukh Khan starrer Swades was the last film for which Bhanu Athaiya designed costumes.
Image Source: starsunfolded.com
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