Speed Reads


Peter Bogdanovich, The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon director, dies at 82

Peter Bogdanovich, the Oscar-nominated director behind iconic films like The Last Picture Show, has died. He was 82. 

Bogdanovich's daughter Antonia confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter the director died at his Los Angeles home from natural causes early Thursday. 

Bogdanovich rose to fame after directing and co-writing 1971's The Last Picture Show, the classic coming-of-age film that earned him Oscar nominations for writing and directing early in his filmmaking career. Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman also won Academy Awards for their supporting performances in the film, which picked up eight nominations including Best Picture. From there, Bogdanovich directed movies including the 1970s comedies What's Up, Doc and Paper Moon, as well as dramas like 1985's Mask. 

Bogdanovich had a background in film criticism and wrote articles for Esquire, leading to B-movie director Roger Corman hiring him in the 1960s. "He was among the first generation of movie nerds-cum-directors who were raised on the language of cinema," Variety said in its obituary, while also noting that his "personal life threatened to overshadow his career behind the camera." Bogdanovich famously had affairs with The Last Picture Show star Cybill Shepherd and with Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, the latter of whom was killed by her husband in 1980. Bogdanovich wrote about Stratten's murder in his 1984 book The Killing of the Unicorn, and he later married her sister Louise.

Outside of directing, Bogdanovich also took on some acting roles during his career, including when he portrayed a psychotherapist on The Sopranos. He is survived by two daughters from his marriage to production designer Polly Platt, according to the Reporter

The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro remembered Bogdanovich as a "champion of cinema" who "birthed masterpieces as a director and was a most genial human," while critic Matt Zoller Seitz reflected that with Bogdanovich's death, "one of the last remaining links to classic Hollywood is also gone."