Peter Bogdanovich, ‘The Last Picture Show’ Director, Dies at 82

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Peter Bogdanovich in 2008 (Image: Wikimedia)

Peter Bogdanovich died on Thursday at 82 in his home in Los Angeles. His daughter, Antonia Bogdanovich, shared the news and that he died of natural causes.

His filmography spans all mediums and genres, but he first gained prominence as a film director with his coming-of-age drama The Last Picture Show (1971) and road comedy-drama Paper Moon (1973), which both made use of black-and-white cinematography and had widely acclaimed performances from their casts.

Bogdanovich was born in Kingston, New York to Herma (née Robinson) and Borislav Bogdanovich. His mother was Austrian Jewish and his father was Serbian, both of them immigrated to the U.S. in 1939.

He was known as an obsessive fan of cinema from a young age and began his career as a film journalist. He programmed film screenings for the Museum of Modern Art and wrote several books on iconic directors such as Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock

He later moved on to filmmaking after being hired to rewrite Roger Corman’s biker film The Wild Angels (1966). He quickly made a name for himself as a director and was heralded as part of the “New Hollywood” generation of directors. These included iconic filmmakers such as Steven SpielbergDavid LynchGeorge Lucas and Robert Altman.

He also has a chaotic personal life, including carrying out an affair on the set of The Last Picture Show with actress Cybill Shepherd. He also took a hiatus from filmmaking for several years after his girlfriend Dorothy Stratten was murdered in 1980.

Bogdanovich’s career spanned foundational films and TV work, along with insightful criticism and thought-provoking documentaries on some of the greatest filmmakers to ever live.

He is survived by his two daughters, Antonia and Sashy Bogdanovich.