Vanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar winner and costume designer. (File image)
Vanu Athaiya, India’s first Oscar winner and costume designer, died in Mumbai on Thursday after a long illness. He won an Oscar for his outstanding work in the 1983 film ‘Gandhi’.
His daughter Radhika Gupta told PTI, “He died this morning. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor eight years ago. He has been in bed for the last three years because a part of his body was paralyzed.
His body will be buried at Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai. Athaiya was born in Kolhapur. He started his career in Hindi cinema as a costume designer in Guru Dutt’s 1956 superhit film ‘CID’.
He (British costume designer) along with John Mollo won the Oscar for ‘Best Costume Design’ for Richard Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’. Athiya returned to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012 to secure her Oscar. Athiya has contributed more than 100 films in her long career. He also won national awards for Gulzar’s Butt (1990) and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagan (2001).
She designed a memorable outfit for actress Vaijayanthimala in ‘Amrapali’, Waheeda Rehman in ‘Guide’ and Jinat Aman in ‘Satya Shivam Sundaram’. “Costumes have a big role to play in bringing a film closer to reality, but Indian filmmakers have never considered it appropriate. At the same time, shopping abroad is a practice these days …” I don’t think that’s the right thing to do. ‘