Actor, Writer, Director Peter Bogdanovich Dies at 82

Peter Bogdanovich. | Image from People

Peter Bogdanovich, perhaps best known for directing the films The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon in black-and-white in the 1970s, died on Thursday, January 6.

According to his daughter, Antonia, Bogdanovich died of natural causes early Thursday morning at his home in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported.

Bogdanovich’s film The Last Picture Show received eight Oscar nominations. The 1971 movie found a large audience and saw Bogdanovich teamed with Texas writer Larry McMurtry, converting the novel to the silver screen. This paved the way for various other McMurtry works to be committed to film, including the 1989 television mini-series Lonesome Dove. McMurtry, born in Archer, Texas, died in March of 2021.

The Last Picture Show, set in 1951, was billed as a story about “a group of high schoolers [who] come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied North Texas town that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically.”

“I liked the idea of doing a period piece because I like anything better in the past than in the present,” he once said of the film, according to IMDB. “I’m not moved by things that happen in the present, only when I think about them later. Life is too real when it’s actually happening.”

Paper Moon, another of Bogdanovich’s best-known pictures, portrayed a Depression-era road trip that garnered Tatum O’Neal an Oscar at the age of ten.

“Peter was my heaven & earth. A father figure,” O’Neal said on Twitter following his death. “A friend. From ‘Paper Moon’ to ‘Nickelodeon’, he always made me feel safe. I love you, Peter.”

Bogdanovich was nominated for 19 awards at notable film festivals during his career and won a total of 17, including a Best Director Oscar for The Last Picture Show and the 2018 Venezia Classica Award for Best Documentary for his 2018 effort entitled The Great Buster.

He was born in Kingston, NY, in 1939. He was 82 years old.

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