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Acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich has died, aged 82

He was also acclaimed as an actor and a hugely influential film historian

By Patrick Clarke

Peter Bogdanovich speaking into a microphone
Peter Bogdanovich (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Oscar-nominated director Peter Bogdanovich has died, aged 82, his agent has confirmed.

Best known for films including his acclaimed 1968 crime thriller ‘Targets’, which he co-wrote and directed, and 1971 coming of age classic ‘The Last Picture Show’, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

Bogdanovich was also an actor. His most notable role was as the psychotherapist Dr. Elliot Kupferberg in ‘The Sopranos’, and he also appeared frequently in minor roles in his own films.

In addition, Bogdanovich was an influential film historian. He directed documentaries including ‘Directed By John Ford’ and ‘The Great Buster: A Celebration’, and published a number of books which included interviews with the likes of Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.

His final feature film was the screwball comedy ‘She’s Funny That Way’, which starred Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots and Kathryn Hahn.

Peter Bogdanovich in ‘The Sopranos: Two Tonys’ in 2004 (Photo: HBO)

Figures across the film industry have paid tribute to Bogdanovich, including Francis Ford Coppola who said he was “devasated.”

In a statement to Deadline, he said: “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.”

Guillermo del Toro said on Twitter: “He was a dear friend and a champion of Cinema. He birthed masterpieces as a director and was a most genial human. 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. He was working on a beautiful screenplay and to talk about the craft and ideas for it was delightful.”

Barbra Streisand, who appeared in Bogdanovich’s 1972 comedy ‘What’s Up Doc?’ said: “Peter always made me laugh! He’ll keep making them laugh up there too.”

Martin Scorsese released a statement saying: “In the 60s, at a crucial moment in the history of the movie business and the art of cinema, Peter Bogdanovich was right there at the crossroads of the Old Hollywoo and the New. Curator, critic, historian, actor, director, poplar entertainer, Peter did it all.”

Recalling his last encounter with Bogdanovich in 2018, he added: “Right up to the end, he was fighting for the art of cinema and the people who created it.”

Bogdanovich is survived by his two children Antonia and Sashy.