Peter Bogdanovich, the silk scarf fanatic and director of 1970s black and white classics like “The Last Picture Show” and “Paper Moon” is dead. He was 82 years old.
Bogdanovich died early Thursday morning at his home in Los Angeles, his daughter, Antonia Bogdanovich, said. He noted that he died of natural causes.
Considered part of a generation of young “New Hollywood” directors, Bogdanovich was recognized as an author from the beginning of his career with the lurid “Targets” about a murderous sniper and “The Last Picture Show” , from 1971, his evocative portrait of a small town in decline that earned him eight Oscar nominations and catapulted him to fame at age 32 after winning statuettes for Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman.
After “The Last Picture Show,” Bogdanovich released the comedy “What’s Up, Doc?” (“What’s Wrong with Me, Doc?”) Starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, and the Great Depression-era road trip movie “Paper Moon,” which earned Tatum O’Neal a Oscar at age 10.
His turbulent personal life also used to be in the public eye, from his famous affair with actress Cybill Shepherd that began while filming “The Last Picture Show” when he was married to his close collaborator Polly Platt, to the murder of his model girlfriend. Playboy Dorothy Stratten and his subsequent marriage to her younger sister, Louise, who was 29 years his junior.
After knowing his death, the film community reacted quickly.
“It is a shock. I am devastated. He was a wonderful and great artist, ”Francis Ford Coppola said in an email. “I will never forget going to the premiere of ‘The Last Picture Show.’ I remember that at the end the audience stood around me in a standing ovation that easily lasted 15 minutes. I will never forget it although I felt that I myself had not experienced such a reaction, Peter and his film deserved it. May he rest in bliss for eternity, enjoying the enchantment of applause forever. “
Guillermo del Toro tweeted: “He was a dear friend and defender of cinema. He created masterpieces as a director and he was the coolest human being. He easily interviewed and praised the life and work of more classic filmmakers than almost anyone else in his generation. “
Born in Kingston, New York, in 1939, Bogdanovich began working as a journalist and film critic, as well as a film programmer at the Museum of Modern Art, where through a series of retrospectives he won the affection of directors of the old guard like Orson Welles, Howard Hawks and John Ford. His Hollywood education began earlier, his father taking him at age 5 to see Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton films at the Museum of Modern Art. He then made his own Keaton documentary “The Great Buster,” which was released in 2018.