Peter Bogdanovich passes away at age 82 due to natural causes

Peter Bogdanovich, director behind The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon, passes away at age 82 due to natural causes

  • Peter Bogdanovich, the legendary director behind The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon, has died at age 82 
  • The acclaimed filmmaker died of natural causes in his Los Angeles home shortly after midnight on Thursday 
  • Bogdanovich shot to stardom following the release of his second film, The Last Picture Show
  • The film received eight Oscar nominations and won two  

Peter Bogdanovich, the legendary director behind The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon, has died at age 82.

The acclaimed filmmaker died of natural causes in his Los Angeles home shortly after midnight on Thursday, his daughter Antonio Bogdanovich revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. 

According to Deadline, Bogdanovich’s family was with him at the time of his passing. Paramedics were unable to revive him by the time they had arrived. 

Bogdanovich shot to stardom following the release of his second film, The Last Picture Show, which garnered eight Oscar nominations and won two. 

Peter Bogdanovich, the legendary filmmaker behind The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon, has died at age 82; pictured 2017

Actors Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson received Oscar statues for their roles, and Boganovich received a nomination for Best Director.

The film was both a hit with viewers and at the box office, and decades later was placed in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

‘I got the impression that it spoke to a lot of people,’ Bogdanovich later remarked of the movie in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune. 

‘People have told me that it reminds them of their hometown, so I think it has a certain universality to it. Young love, and sex and all that, is pretty universal.’

His turbulent personal life was also often in the spotlight, from his well-known affair with Cybill Shepherd

Considered part of a generation of young New Hollywood directors, Bogdanovich was heralded as an auteur from the start, with the chilling lone shooter film Targets and soon after The Last Picture Show, from 1971, his evocative portrait of a small, dying town.

He followed The Last Picture Show with the screwball comedy What’s Up, Doc?, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, and then the Depression-era road trip film Paper Moon, which won 10-year-old Tatum O´Neal an Oscar.

His turbulent personal life was also often in the spotlight, from his well-known affair with Cybill Shepherd that began during the making of The Last Picture Show while he was married to his close collaborator, Polly Platt, to the murder of his Playmate girlfriend Dorothy Stratten and his subsequent marriage to her younger sister, Louise, who was 29 years younger than him.

A native of New York, Bogdanovich started out as a film journalist and critic, working as a film programmer at the Museum of Modern Art, where through a series of retrospectives he endeared himself to a host of old guard filmmakers including Orson Welles, Howard Hawks and John Ford.

Considered part of a generation of young New Hollywood directors, Bogdanovich was heralded as an auteur from the start

But his Hollywood education started earlier than that: His father took him at age 5 to see Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton movies at the Museum of Modern Art. He’d later make his own Keaton documentary, ‘The Great Buster,’ which was released in 2018. 

Bogdanovich has been married twice: from 1962 to 1971 he was married to actress/producer Polly Platt, and then to producer Louise Stratten from 1988 to 2001.

He shares daughters Sasha, 51, and Antonia, 54, with Platt, who passed away in 2011.

Speaking with Deadline, Bogdanovich’s daughter Antonia recalled being on his movie sets and his passion for filmmaking.

‘From the time I was a little girl, he would perform for me and my sister, sing Frank Sinatra, and we were on all of his movie sets,’ she said.

Bogdanovich has been married twice: from 1962 to 1971 he was married to actress/producer Polly Platt, and then to producer Louise Stratten from 1988 to 2001

Antonia said both she and Sasha had already seen ‘ever single film by great directors’ by the time they were only 10 ‘from John Ford to Howard Hawks.’ 

‘He had a passion for film like no other person I ever met, and I’ve met many directors. He had a wonderful memory of the days when these films came out, and sought out the people involved with them. He would talk to us about the camera, how it worked, and he was just magical with actors.  

‘He would do a take, and when he needed an adjustment, he would go over to an actor, say something quietly in their ear, and then the next take you’d see them do something brilliant. I would ask him, ‘what did you say?’ He’d shrug and say, ‘Just a little something.’ He had a magical way with actors.’

Reactions came in swiftly at the news of his death.

‘Oh dear, a shock. I am devastated. He was a wonderful and great artist,’ said Francis Ford Coppola in an email. ‘I’ll never forgot attending a premiere for `The Last Picture Show.´ I remember at its end, the audience leaped up all around me bursting into applause lasting easily 15 minutes. I´ll never forget although I felt I had never myself experienced a reaction like that, that Peter and his film deserved it. May he sleep in bliss for eternity, enjoying the thrill of our applause forever.’

Guillermo del Toro tweeted: ‘He was a dear friend and a champion of Cinema. He birthed masterpieces as a director and was a most genial human. He single-handedly interviewed and enshrined the lives and work of more classic filmmakers than almost anyone else in his generation.’

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