Peter Bogdanovich, the filmmaker behind the classics The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon and What’s Up, Doc? , is dead. He was 82 years old. Bogdanovich was also an indispensable Hollywood film historian, whose wealth of knowledge about the Golden Age of Hollywood has been passed on to younger generations of moviegoers. Even before he started making films himself, Bogdanovich was a prolific writer whose work included interviews with Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, and many other luminaries of a generation of filmmakers that only survive today. because of his work.
Bogdanovich died shortly after midnight on Thursday of natural causes, his daughter, Antonio Bogdanovich, 54, told The Hollywood Reporter. The filmmaker is also survived by his daughter Sashy Bogdanovich, 51, and grandchildren, Maceo, Levi and Wyatt. He was married to decorator and producer Polly Platt from 1962 to 1971. His second wife was Louise Stratten, younger sister of the late Dorothy Stratten, whom Bogdanovich dated in 1980. Stratten and Bognadonvich were married from 1988 to 2001.
After publishing his work in New York and working as a film programmer for the Museum of Modern Art, Bogdanovich and Platt moved to Los Angeles to get into filmmaking on their own. His first job was for Roger Corman and he directed Boris Karloff’s film Targets in 1968.
In 1971, Bogdanovich scored his groundbreaking film with the black-and-white Texan film The Last Picture Show, which remains his most beloved film. The film won eight Oscar nominations, and Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman both won Oscars for their supporting performances. Bogdanovich was nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. He shared this latest appointment with Larry McMurtry, author of The Last Picture Show. While filming, Bogdanovich also began an affair with star Cybill Shepherd, which would lead to his breakup with Platt.
Bogdanovich and Platt continued to work together on his next two films, both of which were instant hits and hailed as classics. Paper Moon won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at Tatum O’Neal, and What’s New, Doc? was a haunting show of wacky Hollywood comedies starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal. However, Platt and Bogdanovich went their separate ways. His subsequent films, Daisy Miller and At Long Last Love, both with Shepherd, were failures.
Bogdanovich continued to lead, sometimes making well-received films including Mask with Cher and the much underrated Saint Jack starring Ben Gazzara. His last film as a director turned out to be She’s Funny That Way, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. He has also directed several documentaries, including Buster Keaton’s 2018 documentary The Great Buster.
For many others, Bogdanovich was a character actor on television. He has appeared on dozens of shows, most notably as Dr. Elliot Kupferberg in 15 episodes of The Sopranos. He has also appeared in episodes of How I Met Your Mother and Rizzoli & Isles. Bogdanovich even made an appearance in It Chapter Two in 2019.
His other role in Hollywood was that of historian. He was longtime friends with Welles and stood up for his work when Welles himself couldn’t anymore. Bogdanovich, his famous glasses and his ubiquitous ascot have been featured in numerous DVD documentaries. He also provided commentary tracks for his favorite movies. He has also written several books, including The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980, in which he wrote that Playboy’s Hugh Hefner took some of the blame for Dorothy’s death. He published his interviews with Welles in 1992 under the title This Is Orson Welles. One of his last projects was a season of Turner Classic Movies’ The Plot Thickens podcast that followed his life and career. He also helped ensure that Welles’ latest film, The Other Side of the Wind, was finally released in 2018 by Netflix.
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Peter Bogdanovich, Oscar nominated director, dead at 82