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Season one Timeline

filmstrip of photos of Peter

Explore the timeline of Peter Bogdanovich’s career from his early days in New York City to his life in Hollywood.

1939

Peter Bogdanovich is born in New York City. He was raised on silent movies, which his father brought him to see at the Museum of Modern Art.

1955

16 year-old Peter lies about his age to get into acting classes taught by Stella Adler.

1959

Peter directs his first play, Clifford Odet’s The Big Knife.

1961

Peter writes his first monograph for MoMA, about Orson Welles. Monographs on Howards Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock followed in 1962 and 1963, respectively.

1962

Peter marries Polly Platt, who he met the year before when he was Artistic Director for the summer season of the Phoenicia Playhouse in upstate New York.

1964

Encouraged by filmmaker Frank Tashlin, Peter and Polly drive cross-country to Los Angeles to find careers in Hollywood.

1965

Peter is hired by B-movie king Roger Corman as an assistant.

1966

Peter directs second-unit on the Corman picture Wild Angels. He also appears on camera as a townsperson and gets beaten up by some Hells Angels who didn’t appreciate his direction.

1966

Peter meets a young Frank Marshall at a party at John Ford’s house.

1967

Peter writes and directs Targets for Roger Corman. It’s released the following year.

1968

Peter meets Orson Welles for the first time, at Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Peter agrees to write a book about him.

1970

Peter directs The Last Picture Show, correctly predicting that both Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman would win Oscars for their performances.

1971

Peter begins shooting What’s Up, Doc? for Warner Bros., and finishes the documentary Directed by John Ford.

1972

Joining with Francis Ford Coppola and William Friedkin, Peter forms The Directors Company at Paramount.

1973

Paper Moon is released and becomes Peter’s third consecutive hit. But it’s his last collaboration with Polly Platt – they divorce later in the year.

1974

Daisy Miller, directed by Peter and starring Cybill Shepherd, opens to lousy reviews and tepid box office.

1975

Peter and Cybill’s next movie, At Long Last Love, flops at the box-office and is pilloried by critics.

1976

Peter directs Nickelodeon, considered his third flop in a row.

1977

After resolving a lawsuit with Playboy, Peter secures the rights to the novel Saint Jack for Orson Welles – but he eventually replaces Orson as the director.

1978

Peter shoots Saint Jack in Singapore, which brings his relationship with Cybill Shepherd to an end.

1980

Peter directs They All Laughed in New York City, starring Dorothy Stratten. Dorothy is murdered just a few months after the production wraps.

1981

Peter self-distributes They All Laughed, a disastrous financial decision which leads to the loss of his Bel Air home.

1985

After declaring bankruptcy, Peter returns to directing with Mask. He sues Universal Studios for violating his final cut, though the movie still receives positive reviews and is a success at the box office.

1988

After many delays, Peter’s next movie, Illegally Yours, finally opens. It flops with both critics and audiences.

1990

Peter directs Texasville, a sequel to The Last Picture Show featuring many of the original cast.

1992

Peter brings the farcical play Noises Off to the big screen, produced by Frank Marshall. It flops initially but develops a cult following in later years.

1993

Peter directs TheThing Called Love, the last movie River Phoenix completed before his death.

2001

After his second round of bankruptcy, Peter guest stars in a recurring role on the hit HBO show The Sopranos. He would direct an episode in 2004.

2001

Peter directs The Cat’s Meow, a historical Hollywood drama based on a story he originally heard from Orson Welles.

2007

Peter returns to documentaries to direct Runnin’ Down a Dream, a four-hour documentary about Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

2014

Peter directs the long-gestating project She’s Funny That Way, which he wrote with Dorothy’s sister Louise Stratten.

2018

Peter releases The Great Buster, a documentary about silent film giant Buster Keaton, and oversees the completion of The Other Side of the Wind, Orson Welles’ unfinished film.