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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Peter Bogdanovich: Barbra Streisand leads tributes to late film director


Stars including Barbra Streisand, Cher and Laura Dern have led the tributes to their “friend and teacher” Peter Bogdanovich, who has died aged 82.

The New York film director was known for movies such as The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon.

His family confirmed on Thursday in a statement that he died “from complications of Parkinson’s disease”.

Bogdanovich, who originally hailed from New York, became synonymous with the New Hollywood of the 1970s.

His coming-of-age drama, 1971’s The Last Picture Show, which he also co-wrote, earned him eight Oscar nominations including best director.

Streisand, who starred in his 1972 comedy What’s Up, Doc? wrote: “Peter always made me laugh!”

“Another hero lost,” added Dern, posting a picture of them together on the set of his 1985 film Mask.

Actress and singer Cher, who appeared in the same film, said Bogdanovich had made some “very memorable films” and discovered “amazingly talented artists”.

Born in 1939, Bogdanovich became interested in cinema from an early age.

Between the ages of 12 and 30, he kept a record of every film he watched along with a small review on an index card.

As a teenager, he attended acting school and upon leaving took up small roles in theatre and on television, the New York Times reports.

Bogdanovich decided to become a director in 1966, inspired by New Wave directors such as Jean Luc-Godard making their own films, and moved to Los Angeles with his first wife Polly Platt.

The following year, Roger Corman hired Bogdanovich as his assistant director for the 1966 film Wild Angels.

The Last Picture Show, an adaptation of Larry McMurty’s semi-autobiographical novel, arrived five years later and was a critical success, with some comparing it to Orson Wells’ classic – and one of Bogdanovich’s personal favourites – Citizen Kane.

The film, set in a desolate Texas town, starred a slew of rising stars, including Cybill Shepherd and Jeff Bridges.

Bridges tweeted after Bogdanovich’s death, “My heart is broken.”

Bogdanovich also became romantically involved with Shepherd in the film, which contributed to the breakdown of his marriage.

Paper Moon, his road comedy drama, was released in 1973, and Tatum O’Neal became the youngest competitive winner in Oscar history, winning best supporting actress.

Speaking in a video posted to Instagram, actor and producer Alec Baldwin praised the film, while calling its director “larger than life” and a “wonderful raconteur”.

Another ensemble in the director’s 1981 romantic comedy They All Laughed included Audrey Hepburn in her final big-screen appearance and the debut of Playboy playmate of the year Dorothy Stratten, with whom Bogdanovich would have an affair. Her husband/manager murdered her before the film was released.

Bogdanovich wrote about it in The Killing of a Unicorn, a 1984 book, before marrying Stratten’s younger sister, Louise.

In addition to making numerous films throughout his career, Bogdanovich also appeared on television, most notably in The Simpsons and The Sopranos, where he played a psychotherapist. He also appeared as a DJ in Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2.

The New York filmmaker was Oscar-nominated for his coming-of-age drama The Last Picture Show

In 2014, he returned with his first movie in 13 years. She’s Funny that Way, starring Owen Wilson and Imogen Poots, was “a celebration of old Hollywood”, wrote BBC Culture’s Nicholas Barber at the time.

Francis Ford Coppola, director of The Godfather, released a statement to Deadline to say he was “devastated” by the news.

“May he sleep in bliss for eternity, enjoying the thrill of our applause forever”, he said.

Guillermo del Toro, the director of Pan’s Labyrinth, tweeted: “He was a dear friend and a champion of Cinema… He single-handedly interviewed and enshrined the lives and work of more classic filmmakers than almost anyone else in his generation.”

Bogdanovich is survived by his two children.

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