Oscar-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya passes away at 91
Athaiya was celebrated for her work on iconic films like Gandhi, Pyaasa, Lekin, Lagaan, and Swades
Oscar-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya passed away after prolonged illness on Thursday. She was 91.
Bhanu's daughter, Radhika Gupta, spoke about the tragic news to 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 paralysed.” Her last rites were performed at the Chandanwadi crematorium in Mumbai.
Bhanu Athaiya had won the Oscar for the Best Costume Design for Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982), becoming the first Indian to win an Academy Award.
In her decades-spanning career, Bhanu had designed costumes for iconic Hindi films like C.I.D, Pyaasa, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Agneepath, Lekin, and Lagaan. She was a noted associate of directors Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Raj Khosla and, later, Ashutosh Gowariker. Her last credited work was on Gowariker’s Swades (2002), starring Shah Rukh Khan.
Bhanu had returned her Oscar trophy to the Academy in 2012 for safe-keeping. Her book, The Art of Costume Design, was published by HarperCollins in 2013.