Peter Bogdanovich, Oscar-nominated director and writer, dies at 82
Peter Bogdanovich, the Oscar-nominated writer and director of iconic films like The Last Picture Show, What's Up Doc, and Paper Moon, has died. He was 82.
His daughter, Antonia Bogdanovich, confirmed to the Associated Press that Bogdanovich died early Thursday morning at this home in Los Angeles of natural causes.
The highly prolific director and film writer had a long and storied career that included films like Daisy Miller, At Long Last Love, They All Laughed, Nickelodeon, Saint Jack, Mask, and Targets. His personal life was almost as storied, thanks to his romantic relationships with model Cybill Shepherd (whom he met while filming The Last Picture Show) and 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten.
Bogdanovich was born on July 30, 1939, in Kingston, N.Y. He quickly fell in love with the film industry, tracking his opinions on films as early as age 12. By the time he was 16, he was studying with famed acting coach Stella Adler. His foray into directing came at age 20 when Clifford Odets gave him a chance to direct and star in an off-Broadway play called The Big Knife, which Bogdanovich helped raise $15,000 to produce.
The director quickly took his skills to the next level, helming revivals of shows like Camino Real, Ten Little Indians Rocket to the Moon, and the 1964 off-Broadway revival Once in a Lifetime. He began bringing his childhood love of film opinions to the world, writing criticisms and features for publications like Esquire and places like the Museum of Modern Art Film Library; in 1971, he wrote and directed a documentary about Ford for the California Arts Commission and AFI.
In 1962, Bogdanovich drove across the country with his future wife Polly Platt after being encouraged by director Frank Tashlin. After meeting producer Roger Corman, he worked on the Peter Fonda film The Wind Angels, helping to make it Corman's most successful project. That led him to take on his most well-known film: helming an adaptation of Larry McMurtry's 1966 novel The Last Picture Show. Premiering in 1971, the black-and-white drama earned eight Academy Awards nominations, including directing, adapted screenplay, and supporting acting awards for Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson.
The success of The Last Picture Show allowed Bogdanovich free rein to pursue his next project, 1972's What's Up Doc? starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal. The film became the third highest-grossing movie that year, after The Godfather and The Poseidon Adventure.
In 1997, Bogdanovich authored Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Legendary Directors, and in 2004, he released a second book called Who the Hell's in It: Conversations With Hollywood's Legendary Actors. His most recent projects were the 2014 Owen Wilson and Imogen Poots comedy She's Funny That Way which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2018. He also took on acting roles, with his most prominent part as a psychotherapist in HBO's The Sopranos.
Bogdanovich is survived by his two daughters, Antonia and Sashy.