Bhanu Athaiya Biography, Age, Net Worth, And Death – First First Oscar Award Winner Of India

Bhanu Athaiya


Bhanu Athaiya, the first Oscar Award winner of India, was born on April 28, 1929. She was an Indian custom designer who worked in more than 100 Bollywood movies under the supervision of Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra, Vijay Anand, Raj Khosla, and Raj Kapoor, who are known directors in India. She also worked with international directors such as Richard Attenborough and Conrad Rooks. Athaiya is also the custom designer for Gandhi (1982), which was the movie that allowed her to win an Academy award, making her the first Oscar Award winner of her country. 

Bhanu Athaiya Biography 

Bhanu Athaiya was born on April 28, 1929, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra of British India. She was the number 3 of the 7 children of her parents, Annasaheb and Shantabai Rajopadhye. Her father, Annasahbe was a painter, who passed away when she was just 9 years old. 

Athaiya passed away on 15 October 2020. According to her family members, she died from complications of brain cancer. Her death was recorded at a medical center in South Mumbai, India. 

She was 91 when she passed away. 

Bhanu Athaiya Age, Death Date, Mother Name, Father Name, Birth Place, And Achievements

­Full NameBhanu Athaiya (भानु अथैया)
Date of Birth28 April 1929
Place of BirthMaharashtra, Kolhapur
Death Anniversary15 October 2020
Mother NameShantabai Rajopadhyay
Father NameAnasaheb
AchievementsAcademy Award for Best Costume DesignLaadli Lifetime Achievement AwardFilmfare Lifetime Achievement AwardNational Film Award for Best Costume DesignNational Film Award for Best Costume Design
Profession / CountryFashion Designer
Country of OriginIndia

Awards And Nominations Of Bhanu Athaiya

1983Academy Award for Best Costume DesignGandhi
1983BAFTA Award for Best Costume DesignGandhi
1991National Film Award for Best Costume DesignLekin
2002National Film Award for Best Costume DesignLagaan
2009Filmfare Lifetime Achievement AwardNo Movie
2013Laadli Lifetime Achievement AwardNo Movie

Bhanu Athaiya Career 

After Bhanu lost her father when she was just 9, she learned how to draw with the help of an art teacher, who used to come to her house. After that, she developed a habit of designing and decided to pursue graduation from the J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai. Following her graduation, she started her career as a freelance fashion designer for several magazines. Soon, she started to design costumes for Bollywood and Hollywood movies. 

Bhanu first worked as a freelance fashion illustrator for women’s magazines in Bombay, which includes Eve’s Weekly. After that, she started to design dresses. Her success as a fashion designer helped her land jobs in movies such as C.I.D. (1956). She also started to design clothes for Guru Dutt’s movies and became part of the very famous Guru Dutt Team. 

She spent 50 years of her life as a fashion designer and all her hard work paid off when she officially became the first Indian to win an Academy Award in Gandhi, which was released in 19982. 

She also won 2 National Film Awards. 

5 Lesser Known Facts About Bhanu Athaiya

Here are some of the lesser known facts about Bhanu Athaiya: 

  • Bhanu Athaiya was a Marathi by birth
  • She was born on April 28, 1929
  • Her full name was Bhanumati Annasaheb Rajopadhye
  • She was a costume designer for Lord Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001), and Swades (2004)
  • Bhanu Athaiya designed costumes in over 100 Indian and Hollywood movies

Bhanu Athaiya Oscar Winner 

In 1983, Bhanu Athaiya won the Oscar Award for Lord Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi. She became the first Indian to hold the title. Not only that, but she remained the only Indian to hold the title for a long 26 years. 

Did Bhanu Athaiya Return Her Oscar Award? 

Yes, she did. 

Bhanu Athaiya returned her Oscar Award to the Academy in December of 2012 following a diagnosis. She did this after doctors in India told her that she had a brain tumor. 

Why Did Bhanu Athaiya Return Her Oscar Award? 

Bhanu Athaiya returned her Oscar award to the Academy in 2012 after being diagnosed with Brain Tumor. She said the award would be kept safe by the academy after she passed away. 

The Art of Costume Design By Bhanu Athaiya 

In the year 2010, which is 2 years before she got diagnosed with Brain Tumor, Bhanu Athaiya wrote and published a book named The Art of Costume Design. 

How Did Bhanu Athaiya Die? 

On October 15, 2020, Bhanu Athaiya passed away at the age of 91. According to her family and multiple news agencies in India, Bhanu passed away after a long battle with Brain Cancer, which she got diagnosed with in 2012. It is believed that she passed away at a medical center in South Mumbai, India. 

Bhanu Athaiya Mother And Father

Bhanu Athaiya was born to Annasaheb, a painter, and Shantabai Rajopadhye, a homemaker. Her father passed away when she was just 9 years old and her mother passed away later in her life. 

Bhanu Athaiya Siblings 

Bhanu Athaiya was the number 3 of the 7 children of Annasaheb and Shantabai Rajopadhye. She had 6 siblings, which includes 2 elders and 4 younger siblings. 

Bhanu Athaiya Husband And Daughter 

Bhanu Athaiya was married to Satyendra Athaiya, a famous poet in India. The couple are the parents of Radhika Gupta. Not much is known about the personal life of Bhanu Athaiya, her husband and her daughter.. 

Bhanu Athaiya Net Worth 

As of writing this, no one has any idea on what the net worth of Bhanu Athaiya was when she was alive. 

Did we miss out on anything above? Let us know what we missed out about Bhanu Athaiya by leaving a comment in the comments section below! 

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