• Big Screen alerts

Image

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."

Image

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY491fCK6UY

  • Big Screen alerts

Comments

John71471 July 29, 2011 @ 3:48 p.m.

This is very sad. I didn't know this until now. I credit Ms. Platt for all of Bogdanovich's successes. With her, "Targets", "The Last Picture Show", "What's Up, Doc" and "Paper Moon". Without her, "Daisy Miller", "At Long Last Love" and "Nickelodeon". Coincidence? I think not. RIP Ms. Platt.

0

Scott Marks July 30, 2011 @ 8:58 a.m.

That's like crediting Henry Bumstead or Edith Head for Hitchcock's success.

With the exception of "Last Picture Show," I'll take "Nickelodeon" over all the movies you mentioned.

Without her, "Saint Jack" and "They All Laughed," Bogdanovich's two finest films. Coincidence? Not a chance. Her collaborative contributions were invaluable, but these are all Peter Bogdanovich films.

0

SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2011 @ 4:43 p.m.

"What's Up, Doc"

I saw this pic when it first came out, and it is NEVER on TV. I just cannot understand why. I really liked it.

0

Scott Marks Aug. 2, 2011 @ 9:31 a.m.

Like it? I own it!

You need to spring for one of them newfangled VHR cassette player-recorder machines, Surf, and set up an account at Kensington Video.

0

John71471 July 30, 2011 @ 9:50 a.m.

Hmmm, OK, point well taken. Bogdanovich had a huge slump in quality during his "Cybill Shepherd" phase. But once he started dating Dorothy Stratten, he made "Saint Jack" and "They All Laughed", which are very underrated films that more people should see. (And I kinda liked "Nickelodeon", too, although it is kind of a guilty pleasure.) I am thinking, perhaps, that the quality of his film output was directly proportional to the quality of the women he was seeing.

0

Scott Marks July 30, 2011 @ 5:31 p.m.

"I am thinking, perhaps, that the quality of his film output was directly proportional to the quality of the women he was seeing."

========================================

Thank you for having the good taste not to mention his Louise Hoogstraten period.

0

TruroFL Aug. 1, 2011 @ 8:58 a.m.

Mr. Marks:

I have been a friend of Polly Platt's for many years. I also know her family well and I am certain that they would not be happy with your comment #2 above where you minimize her contributions to the film she made with Mr. Bogdanovich by comparing her to Henry Bumstead or Edith Head's work on Hitchcock's films.

Polly helped discover and develop the stories for the films she made with Peter. She was involved with numerous aspects of those films that went beyond being Production Designer, including casting and editing. She was instrumental in casting Cybil Shepherd in "The Last Picture Show" and Tatum O'Neal for "Paper Moon." Polly once told me that she didn't ask for Producer credit at the time she made those films because it was doing the work well that mattered to her.

Polly always hated getting sole credit in recent years, at Peter's expense, for the success of those films because she always felt it was her and Peter collaborating together that made them good. She wanted both her and Peter to be jointly acknowleged for the films they collabrated on, not just one person at the expense of the other.

You have given Polly Platt's memory short shrift at a time when her family and friends are grieving over losing her and you have not helped during this sensitive time.

0

Scott Marks Aug. 1, 2011 @ 9:37 a.m.

My comment was left in response to John's assertion that Ms. Platt was responsible for all of Bogdanovich's successes. Even you must admit this is far from factual. In light of his somewhat glib minimization of Bogdanovich's contributions to movies he signed, I find my equally reductive analogy to Bumstead and Head quite fitting.

I mention the fact that Polly Platt co-wrote "Targets," refer to her contributions as "invaluable," and see to it that all who read know Ms. Platt "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?'" With all due respect, I hardly think that's giving her memory short-shrift.

You want short-shrift? In a world overrun by disposable information, I was saddened to see that relatively few mentioned her death. I did because her work obviously means something to me and I didn't want her passing to go unnoticed. I feel for your loss of a friend, TruroFL, and while there are plenty of times where I stand guilty-as-charged of being insensitive, this is simply not one of them.

0

TruroFL Aug. 1, 2011 @ 10 a.m.

Mr. Marks:

I did not agree with John at all. Like I said, Polly wanted both her and Peter to be equally acknowledged. In defending Peter, which you had the right to, you ended up minimizing Polly.

With regards to your assertion that "relatively few mentioned her death," Polly's passing was acknowledged by the NY Times, the LA Times, the Associated Press, the NY Daily News, the BBC, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, etc. So don't give yourself so much credit. We didn't need your charity.

0

SurfPuppy619 Aug. 1, 2011 @ 4:42 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Scott Marks Aug. 1, 2011 @ 6:37 p.m.

See what happen when I try being nice.

0

Laurin Aug. 1, 2011 @ 7:20 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Scott Marks Aug. 1, 2011 @ 8:50 p.m.

No, Mindy, judging by the way he writes he's going for the jugular.

I have no use for professional sports and you will NEVER catch me wasting so much as one second of my life reading a baseball or football blog. Why waste your precious time on something as plebeian as a movie blog. Don't you have atoms to split and diseases to cure? If that's your attitude, please make me one of those critics you have no use for.

0

Laurin Aug. 1, 2011 @ 9:15 p.m.

I'll be perfectly honest with you scott_marks. Until I read this particular blog, I had no idea that you actually are a critic by profession. I thought you were like many of the other non-professional bloggers here. In otherwords, just an average guy giving his point of view in a blog. I like reading others points of view on a wide range of subjects, including movies. I just don't like people who think their opinion is the only one simply because they do it for a living. So I don't have any use for your opinions, but I probably will read comments to your blog because, as I said, I like to see what other people, lay people, have to say. And I don't go for the jugular. I just say what I think and on the internet, why sugar coat it. As someone here once said, it's the internet-it's made for spouting off. And if I thought something was the best thing since Cheetos, I would be just a vociferous with my comments. If someone doesn't lke what I say, then I recommend they skip right past me. Rest assured, it won't hurt my feelings in the least.

0

SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2011 @ 8:41 a.m.

No, Mindy, judging by the way he writes he's going for the jugular.

============ DOUBLE BAM BAM!!!!!!

0

SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2011 @ 8:39 a.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Laurin Aug. 1, 2011 @ 11:04 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

SurfPuppy619 Aug. 2, 2011 @ 11:33 a.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Scott Marks Aug. 2, 2011 @ 2:02 p.m.

I have nothing new to add. I just wanted to see how skinny the comments box gets.

0

Twister Aug. 2, 2011 @ 12:07 p.m.

Thanks to Marks for the Polly Platt obituary.

Fortunately, she did not suffer from the common affliction, narcissism, which plagues most of us--all too overexposed in the "quality" of discourse which followed the piece.

PS: Laurin, why bother? (Why do I bother?)

0

Laurin Aug. 2, 2011 @ 1:08 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Twister Aug. 2, 2011 @ 3:48 p.m.

With respect to dissing, I know not what others may say, but give me substance and give me relevance. I often don' get no respeckt, and I don't demand any. I like to get it the old-fashioned way . . .

0

Sign in to comment