Actor/writer/director Peter Bogdanovich, considered one of the most influential filmmakers of the 1970s and the man behind classics such as “The Last Picture Show” and “Paper Moon,” died Thursday in Los Angeles at age 82.
His daughter, Antonia, told The Hollywood Reporter her father died shortly after midnight of natural causes at his home.
Bogdanovich scored Oscar nominations for best director and best adapted screenplay for his seminal 1971 film “The Last Picture Show,” the cast of which included Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms, Cloris Leachman, Eileen Brennan and Ben Johnson.
It was only his second feature-length film, but the black-and-white classic earned eight Oscar nods and instantly made Bogdanovich a Hollywood luminary, earning him comparisons to Orson Welles. The film also led to the first of his off-screen headline-grabbing antics, thanks to an affair the married director had with Shepherd. The tryst led to Bogdanovich’s divorce from Polly Platt.
He padded his filmmaking credentials over the following two years, first with the 1972 pairing of Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal in the romantic comedy “What’s Up, Doc?”
The following year, he re-teamed with O’Neal for the black-and-white film “Paper Moon.” The film earned O’Neal’s 10-year-old daughter, Tatum, a supporting-actress Oscar.
Bogdanovich “was my heaven and earth,” Tatum O’Neal wrote on Twitter Thursday. “A father figure. A friend. From `Paper Moon’ to `Nickelodeon’ he always made me feel safe. I love you, Peter.”
After some films that had lackluster performances at the box office, Bogdanovich had a minor rebound with the film “They All Laughed” in 1981, a film that featured a Playboy Playmate named Dorothy Stratten, with whom Bogdanovich had an affair. Stratten was murdered by her husband prior to the film’s release.
His later credits included the Cher film “Mask” in 1985 and “Texasville” in 1990, billed as a sequel to “The Last Picture Show.” He also helmed films including “The Thing Called Love,” “The Cat’s Meow” and “Noises Off.”
Most recently, he helmed the Owen Wilson comedy “She’s Funny That Way.”
“I’m proud of the film (`Mask’) we made together and in the end I’m sure he must have been as well,” Cher wrote Thursday. “He made some very memorable films and discovered amazingly talented artists.”
Bogdanovich also made an impression on screen, making appearances in shows such as “The Sopranos,” “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
A native of Kingston, New York, Bogdanovich was a student at the Stella Adler Conservatory and spent time programming films at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, where he highlighted his obsession with directors such as Welles and John Ford. Bogdanovich penned books about both directors over the years.
After he moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s, he had a chance meeting with director Roger Corman at a film screening, and Corman wound up hiring him. He also got the change to meet one of his film idols, Welles, during an interview in 1970.
Bogdanovich is survived by daughters Antonia and Sashy, and three grandchildren.
Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro hailed Bogdanovich Thursday, calling him a “dear friend and a champion of cinema.”
“He birthed masterpieces as a director and was a most genial human,” del Toro wrote on Twitter. “He single-handedly interviewed and enshrined the lives and work of more classic filmmakers than almost anyone else in his generation. He became a close friend and was active and brilliant to the end.”
Director Francis Ford Coppola, in a statement to Deadline, said, “Oh dear, a shock. I am devastated. He was a wonderful and great artist. I’ll never forgot attending a premiere for `The Last Picture Show.’ I remember at its end, the audience leaped up all around me bursting into applause lasting easily 15 minutes. I’ll never forget although I felt I had never myself experienced a reaction like that, that Peter and his film deserved it. May he sleep in bliss for eternity, enjoying the thrill of our applause forever.”