Peter Bogdanovich

Actor / Filmmaker / Writer
Date Of Birth:
30 July 1939
Date Of Death:
6 January 2022
Place Of Birth:
Kingston, New York
Best Known As:
Director of The Last Picture Show
Peter Bogdanovich lived through all the highs and lows of Hollywood in his long career as a writer, director, and auteur. The child of immigrants from Serbia and Austria, Peter Bogdanovich got his start as a critic, historian and eager film buff; he wrote about (and cultivated friendships with) Howard Hawks, Orson Welles and other leading directors before moving behind the camera himself. His second film, the small-town drama The Last Picture Show (1971), earned eight Oscar nominations and made Peter Bogdanovich the industry's hottest young film director. He followed it up with the screwball comedy What's Up, Doc? (1972, with Barbra Streisand) and then the nostalgic Paper Moon (1973, with the father-daughter combo of Ryan and Tatum O'Neal). Both were hits, but a series of flops and financial disasters put Bogdanovich's career in turnaround. He ended up declaring bankruptcy twice and struggled with addiction to painkillers Bogdanovich's romantic life was equally tumultuous: he left his first wife for Cybill Shepherd, his star in The Last Picture Show, and after their breakup he fell in love with the Playboy model-turned-actress Dorothy Stratten. Stratten was shot to death by estranged husband Paul Snider in a 1980 murder-suicide. (The incident was the basis of Bob Fosse's 1983 film Star 80). In 1988 Bogdanovich turned heads by marrying Dorothy Stratten's 20-year-old sister, Louise Hoogstraten; she filed for divorce in 2001. In the two decades that followed he directed only sporadically, his most successful film being Mask (1985, with Cher). As an actor, Bogdanovich was a hit as the psychiatrist to Tony Soprano's psychiatrist in The Sopranos (2000-07). Peter Bogdanovich's many books about film include The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock (1963), Pieces of Time (1973) and the Hollywood character studies Who the Devil Made It? (1997) and Who the Hell's In It? (2004). He also wrote a 1984 book about the death of Dorothy Stratten, titled The Killing of the Unicorn.
Extra Credit

Peter Bogdanovich’s 1990 film Texasville was a sequel to The Last Picture Show; both films were based on novels by Larry McMurtry… His 2002 film The Cat’s Meow was based on the mysterious death of Hollywood pioneer Thomas Ince… Another famous critic-turned-director was François Truffaut.

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