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Peter  Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich

Actor, Director & Author


Most people strive their whole lives to make a name for themselves in just one field; Peter Bogdanovich is a rare exception to have found success in many. After spending most of his teens studying acting with the legendary Stella Adler, and working as an actor in live TV and various theaters around the country, including the New York and the American Shakespeare Festivals, Peter Bogdanovich at age 20 began directing plays Off-Broadway and in N.Y. summer theater. He also wrote for the Museum of Modern Art a series of three monographs on Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, and Alfred Hitchcock, the first such retrospective studies of these directors in America. He also began writing a classic series of feature articles and profiles for Esquire, doing the ground-breaking Humphrey Bogart tribute, as well as definitive pieces on James Stewart, Jerry Lewis, and John Ford, among others. Read More >

Besides directing classic films such as The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, and Texasville, he has earned critical acclaim as a screenwriter, actor, critic, and biographer. Bogdanovich also landed a recurring role on The Sopranos as psychiatrist "Dr. Elliot Kupferberg." His achievements have been marked by numerous Oscar nominations, film critic awards, and a spot on the bestseller list for his book, Who the Devil Made It?.

An intimate look at filmmaking that encompasses nearly the entire span of motion picture history, Who the Devil Made It? is a collection of Bogdanovich's interviews with 16 legendary film directors. He captures the humor and wisdom of such blue-chip directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, and Fritz Lang, as well as those of "B-movie Kings" like Joseph H. Lewis and Edgar G. Ulmer.

In 2002, Bogdanovich again received critical praise and commercial success with The Cat’s Meow. This suspenseful and entertaining satirical drama tells the true story of a mysterious 1924 death on board the yacht of William Randolph Hearst; starring Kirsten Dunst (as Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies), Eddie Izzard (as Charlie Chaplin), Edward Herrmann (as Hearst) and Jennifer Tilly (as Louella Parsons), all of whom garnered glowing notices.

Having published over twelve books on various aspects of film and filmmaking, Bogdanovich currently has four of his works in print: the bestselling Who the Devil Made It (1997), which received a Special Citation from the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Association, as well as the coveted Barbari Award from the Italian Film Critics’ Association.

In 2004 came the premiere of Bogdanovich’s 3-hour ABC special, The Mystery of Natalie Wood, as well as his hard-hitting docudrama about the infamous ballplayer Pete Rose, called Hustle. At the end of the year, Knopf published his latest book, Who the Hell’s in It, which features recollections of his experiences with the famous actors he's directed, including such stars as Cybill Shepherd, the late John Ritter, and Jeff Bridges, who all made their debuts in his movies. Bogdanovich relives his adventures from a lifetime of movie-making.

This year, 2015, will see the wide release of Bogdanovich’s latest film, a screwball comedy called She’s Funny That Way. It stars Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and a terrific ensemble cast. Shot in New York, it had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it was warmly received with a ten minute standing ovation. It was subsequently shown at festivals in Tokyo, Monte Carlo, and Palm Springs: reactions always the same—huge laughs, sustained applause. Bogdanovich is currently working on a long term cherished project, preparing a final cut of Orson Welles’ last film The Other Side of the Wind, which was completed shooting in the late 70s, but has yet to be edited in its entirety. Bogdanovich co-stars in the picture with John Huston, and has been trying to complete the film since Welles’ death in 1985. He is also preparing his next picture, a comedy-drama/fantasy called Wait for Me, which would be shot entirely in Europe.

His presentations are spiced with film clips - his own and those of the directors in his book - as well as with anecdotes brought wonderfully to life by humorous and dead-on impersonations of personalities from Hitchcock to Cary Grant. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Director to Director with Wes Anderson

Speech Topics

Who the Devil's Made It?

Who the Hell's In It?

Books & Media


Who the Hell's in It