Peter Bogdanovich, of ‘Paper Moon’ fame, dead at 82

Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, known for classics as “The Last Picture Show,” “What’s UP Doc?” and “Paper Moon” has died at age 82.

The filmmaker’s daughter, first confirmed the news of his death to the Associated Press on Thursday, noting that he died in his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. 

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 that earned eight Oscar nominations and catapulted him to stardom. 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.

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Peter Bogdanovich died at age 82.

Peter Bogdanovich died at age 82.
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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.

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Peter Bogdanovich died in January of 2022.

Peter Bogdanovich died in January of 2022.
(Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Netflix)

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, he was born on July 30, 1939 in Kensington, New York. By age 12, he had begun his love of film and began keeping a card on file of his various opinions on movies that he would see. By age 16, he was studying acting with Stella Adler. By 1957, he decided that he was destined for the director’s chair. He began directing and starring in stage productions before making the jump to film. 

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Director Peter Bogdanovich attends the LA Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Gala at Ahrya Fine Arts Theater on May 02, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.  

Director Peter Bogdanovich attends the LA Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Gala at Ahrya Fine Arts Theater on May 02, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.  
(Robin L Marshall/Getty Images)

Before making his move to Hollywood, Bogdanovich was writing film criticism and feature articles for Esquire and other publications. Once he made the move, he began directing and running in popular filmmaking circles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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