Peter Bogdanovich Dies: ‘The Last Picture Show’, ‘Paper Moon’ & ‘What’s Up, Doc?’ Director Was 82

Peter Bogdanovich, the actor and critic-turned-filmmaker who directed such classics as The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, What’s Up, Doc? and Mask, died today at his home in Los Angeles. He was 82.

His manager confirmed the news to Deadline.

Bogdanovich exploded onto the cinematic scene in 1971 with The Last Picture Show, a box office hit which drew comparisons to Citizen Kane and earned the filmmaker his only two Oscar noms — for Best Director and Adapted Screenplay. With a stacked cast led by Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, the black-and-white pic is in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

The film also was up for Best Picture and won Oscars for Supporting Actress Cloris Leachman and Supporting Actor Ben Johnson. Eileen Brennan also was up for Supporting Actress.

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Bogdanovich would follow that film with two more revered pics: What’s Up, Doc? starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal (1972) and Paper Moon with O’Neal and his daughter Tatum O’Neal, who won the Lead Actress Oscar for the role at 10 remains the youngest person to win a competitive Academy Award.

The filmmaker would go on to direct such films as Nickelodeon (1976), Saint Jack (1979), Mask (1985), Texasville (1990) and The Thing Called Love (1993) before shifting mainly to television. Bogdanovich later would win a Grammy Award for his sprawling, four-hour documentary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Running Down a Dream in 2009.

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Born on July 30, 1939 in Kingston, NY, Bogdanovich had a few minor acting credits before he wrote and directed his first feature Targets (1968), which starred Boris Karloff and Tim O’Kelly. He also wrote and directed the 1971 documentary Directed by John Ford.

After his run of feature films, Bogdanovich helmed a string of TV movies in the 1990s and directed the 2004 episode of The Sopranos titled “Sentimental Education.” He also recurred on the seminal HBO drama as Dr. Elliot Kupferberg, the analyst to Tony Soprano’s analyst Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco). The character would appear in more than a dozen episodes from 2000-07.


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