India’s First Oscar Winner Bhanu Athaiya Passes Away

Mumbai: Veteran costume designer and India’s first Oscar winner Bhanu Athaiya has passed away on Thursday after prolonged illness, informed her daughter Radhika Gupta.  She was 91.

Bhanu Athaiya had made history on 11 April 1983 by winning the Oscar for Best Costume Design for Lord Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi.

Bhanu Athaiya on the sets of Gandhi.


Bhanu was born on 28 April, 1929. She graduated in fine arts from Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai. She was a gold medallist and fellowship winner.

In a career spanning 50 years, Bhanu Athaiya designed costumes for classics such as Pyaasa (1959), Chaudvin Ka Chaand (1960), Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam (1969) among others.

Bhanu Athaiya won two National Film Awards, in 1991 and 2002 for ‘Lekin’ and Aamir Khan starrer ‘Laagan’ respectively. She was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Filmfare Awards 2009 for her outstanding contribution to cinema.

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