Bhanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar winner, dies age 91

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Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Contributors Manveena Suri, CNNMitra Esha, CNN

India’s first ever Oscar winner, costume designer Bhanu Athaiya, has died on the age of 91. Athaiya, who dressed the casts of over 100 Bollywood motion pictures and gained worldwide popularity of her work on the 1982 film “Gandhi,” died in Mumbai, in response to her daughter Radhika Gupta.

She was recognized with a mind tumor eight years in the past.

Chatting with CNN, Gupta remembered her mom’s “childlike” curiosity, and stated “she by no means felt like she knew all of it.” Throughout her more healthy years she was “unstoppable,” she stated.

Sunil Seth, chairman of the Trend Design Council India stated she has been a “torchbearer of design,” in a press release shared with CNN. “We, as a design fraternity, salute her excellence not simply in cinema, but in addition in proving to the world, the large function style performs to form a character, each on and off the display,” he wrote.

Bhanu Athaiya, second from left, on the runway during Mumbai's Lakme Fashion Week in 2013.

Bhanu Athaiya, second from left, on the runway throughout Mumbai’s Lakme Trend Week in 2013. Credit score: Chirag Wakaskar/WireImage/Getty Pictures

Born in 1929 in Kolhapur, in Maharashtra state, Athaiya started designing film costumes within the 1950s, engaged on a sequence of productions with Guru Dutt, one of many period’s most celebrated administrators. She went on to collaborate with filmmakers together with Raj Kapoor and Raj Khosla.

Whereas she primarily labored on Bollywood motion pictures, she produced costumes for director Conrad Rooks’ 1972 movie “Siddartha,” an adaptation of the famed Hermann Hesse novel. However it was her work on Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi,” a biopic based mostly on the lifetime of Mahatma Gandhi, that thrust her into the worldwide highlight.

Bhanu Athaiya pictured with "Gandhi" director Richard Attenborough at the 55th Academy Awards.

Bhanu Athaiya pictured with “Gandhi” director Richard Attenborough on the 55th Academy Awards. Credit score: Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Pictures

On the 55th Academy Awards, Athaiya claimed the award for Finest Costume Design (alongside her co-designer John Mollo), one among eight Oscars gained by the film that night time. In her quick acceptance speech, she stated that the distinction was “too good to imagine,” earlier than thanking Attenborough for “focusing world consideration on India.”

Athaiya continued to work within the later many years of her life, receiving trade recognition for her wealthy visible tackle 19th-century India in Ashutosh Gowariker’s critically acclaimed “Lagaan” Her work on the film earned her Finest Costume Design at India’s prestigious Nationwide Movie Awards in 2002.

Following her dying, tributes have flooded in from India’s artwork and leisure worlds, with actor Aamir Khan, who starred in and labored with Athaiya in “Lagaan,” tweeting that she “fantastically mixed correct analysis and cinematic aptitude to deliver to life the director’s imaginative and prescient.” Actress Kasturi Shankar in the meantime described Athaiya as a “legendary costume designer and pathbreaking lady.”
Politicians additionally took to social media to honor the late Oscar winner. MP Raj Babbar, a well known actor earlier than his election to parliament in 2015, wrote on Twitter that Athaiya “made costume design a classical artwork,” including: “(I) was privileged to put on her designs in my preliminary movies … Her demise is a private loss.”

Prime picture caption: Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya backstage holding her Oscar, after profitable the 1982 Academy Award for “Finest Costume Designer” for her function in Gandhi.

This story was up to date to incorporate remark from the household.





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