Walter Mencken 7 p.m., Dec. 10
Dig A Hole: Polly Platt, Production Designer, Producer, and Screenwriter
Polly Platt first met Peter Bogdanovich in the summer of 1961. At the time, Bogdanovich was working as the artistic director for a theatre in Phonecia, New York. The director describes the encounter in his book Who the Devil Made It:
"It was while preparing this season that the producer sent over a young and talented costume designer for an interview, and I agreed to hire her. She had recently been widowed and was still recovering. We began an affair, lived together in a romantic cottage that summer and, a little more than a year later, got married. We were both twenty-three."
Peter Bogdanovich and Polly Platt
It was Platt's second trip to the altar. Her first marriage lasted eight months; a car accident claimed the life of her husband Phillip Klein. Her marriage to PB, which lasted almost a decade, ended about the time the Cybill Shepherd entered the picture and the director's new-found fame caused his head to swell.
The multifaceted Polly Platt passed away on Wednesday morning from complications due to Als (Lou Gehrig's Disease). She was 72.
In addition to her work as production designer, Platt received story credit on Bogdanovich's first major studio release, Targets. She also contributed greatly to the black-and-white period feel of the director's The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon, as well as the Technicolor screwball comedy, What's Up, Doc?
As a production designer, Platt went on to work with three Bogdanovich alumni: Ryan O'Neal (The Thief Who Came to Dinner), Tatum O'Neal (The Bad News Bears), and Barbra Streisand (A Star is Born). She also wrote the screenplays for Pretty Baby, on which she acted as associate producer, Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff, and A Map of the World.
She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on Terms of Endearment. Platt continued her fertile collaboration with the film's writer, producer, and director, James L. Brooks. Platt worked as executive vice president of his production company Gracie Films from 1985 to 1995. She also co-produced many of their films, including Broadcast News.
Her third husband, Tony Wade, died in 1985. She is survived by a brother, Jack Platt and two daughters, Antonia Bogdanovich and Sashy Bogdanovich.
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