Bogdanovich, Peter

Bogdanovich, Peter, 1939 - 2021, American film director, actor, and critic, b. Kingston, N.Y. Bogdanovich was the son of Serbian immigrants. He studied acting with Stella Adlerin New York and then in the early ‘60s became a film programmer at the city’s Museum of Modern Art, writing a series of books on major directors including Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, and Alfred Hitchcock. In, 1966, he relocated to Los Angeles, initially directing films for famed B-film producer Roger Corman. His breakthrough came with 1971’s The Last Picture Show, which earned eight Academy Award nominations, including one for his direction; Bogdanovich cowrote the script with author Larry McMurtry who wrote the original book. His other popular films of the period include What’s Up, Doc (1972) and Paper Moon (1973; Tatum O’Neal, Oscar for best supporting actress). The director became infatuated with model/actress Cybill Shepherd, who he met filming The Last Picture Show; he featured her in Daisy Miller (1974) and At Long Last Love (1975), two major flops. He next was involved with model Dorothy Stratten, featured in his film They All Laughed (1981), another failure. After a period of inactivity, he successfully returned to directing in 1985, with the hit film Mask, but followed with a sequel to The Last Picture Show, Texasville (1990), that was another box office dud. In the 21st century, Bogdanovich turned to acting, portraying Dr. Melfi’s therapist on the hit series The Sopranos, directing one episode, and also made a few appearances on other series. He has also directed several documenaties on film directors and stars. The Last Picture Show has been added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

See his The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-80 (1984), This Is Orson Welles (1992), Peter Bogdanovich’s Movie of the Week (1999), Who the Hell’s In It: Conversations with Hollywood’s Legendary Actors (2004).

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