Louise Stratten is the half-sister of slain Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten. Today, she has quietly built her own career in Hollywood, largely as a writer, actor and producer.
Louise, then 20 (the same age Dorothy was when she died at the hands of an enraged, estranged husband) famously married Dorothy’s lover, the director Peter Bogdanovich. They later divorced, but they appear close, and Bogdanovich today still lives with Louise and Dorothy’s and Louise’s mother, Nelly.
At the time of Dorothy’s murder, Bogdanovich was at the height of his directing fame, coming off of movies like The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon. His career has had its ups and downs since her death, but it’s never reached the successes he enjoyed in the 1970s.
Stratten was a 20-year-old Canadian discovered in a Dairy Queen by a small-time hustler named Paul Snider, who encouraged her to send nude photos to Playboy, which made her the 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Year. Snider married Stratten and then murdered the Playmate with a shotgun blast to the face after raping her. He then killed himself. The motive: He was distraught and enraged that she was leaving him for Bogdanovich, who was directing her in a movie at the time. Stratten’s life will be featured in a two-hour episode of 20/20 on Friday, October 18, 2019.
Here’s what you need to know about Louise Stratten today:
Louise Stratten & Peter Bogdanovich Married & Eventually Divorced But They Still Live Together
Today, Peter Bogdanovich is 80 years old (he was born on July 30, 1939). In 2019, Vulture conducted an interview with Bogdanovich and described him as “noticeably frail as he recovers from a fall.”
He told Vulture of Snider and Stratten: “He (Snider) knew about that affair for a long time. He never did anything about it. The (Playboy) Mansion was his bread and butter. The murder was caused because (Hugh) Hefner banned him from the Mansion.” He also described how devastated he was when Dorothy Stratten died, telling Vulture, “I was so depressed. I just didn’t give a shit. I wanted to die in some way. I wanted to forget it. Just end it all.”
According to Vulture, although they are divorced, today Bogdanovich lives with his ex-wife Louise Stratten and her mother Nelly in a “modest ground-floor Toluca Lake apartment.” The article describes how Dorothy’s mother, Nelly Hoogstraten, hovered around Bogdanovich during the interview, asking if he wanted coffee and making sure he took his pills.
A 1989 Associated Press article reported that Bodanovich had married Dorothy’s younger sister, Louise Hoogstraten, 20, that year. At the time, Bogdanovich was 49 years old. She also went by the name L.B. Hoogstraten (that surname was Dorothy’s real last name).
They were married in Canada. The AP article reported that Louise had filed a slander suit against Hugh Hefner and her former stepfather alleging they “falsely told reporters that Bogdanovich had seduced Louise Stratten when she was 13 and had sex with her mother after Dorothy Stratten was killed, and that Bogdanovich had paid for Louise to have plastic surgery to make her look more like her late sister.” But the lawsuit was later dropped.
The marriage to Louise was the third marriage for Bogdanovich; in 2001, he filed for divorce after 12 years of marriage to Louise.
Louis Stratten Is an Actor, Producer & Writer
According to Louise’s IMDB profile, she “is an actress and producer, known for City Island (2009), Django Unchained (2012) and It: Chapter Two (2019).”
In 2016, Louise attended a screening of a Bogdanovich movie with the director.
Louise and Bogdanovich co wrote and Bogdanovich directed a 2014 movie starring Owen Wilson and called She’s Funny That Way. “On the set of a playwright’s new project, a love triangle forms between his wife, her ex-lover, and the call girl-turned-actress cast in the production,” the IMDB profile for it reads. Asked why they divorced, Bogdanovich told Vulture, “Well, you know, she was about 20 when we got married. She needed to see the world out there.” He told the site he still loves Louise and has no interest in dating anyone else, despite the divorce.
According to his IMDB profile, Bogdanovich’s move They All Laughed was unable to find a distributor after Dorothy’s murder, even though it starred Audrey Hepburn. The film only saw limited release and drove Bogdanovich to bankruptcy, the profile says. In the 1983 film Star 80 about Stratten’s death, Bogdanovich’s character was called Aram Nicholas.
He did have success in 1985 with the movie Mask, but his directing career had faded. A few other films didn’t do much. Bogdanovich can be seen in the TV series The Sopranos, playing the therapist of Dr. Jennifer Melfi. The fact that Louise was 29 years younger than him and his murdered lover’s sister also hurt his reputation, IMDB reports.
Bogdanovich ended making several made-for-television movies, according to his Brittanica entry. He’s also contributed to film by writing about directors like John Ford and Orson Welles. For a time he even lived in Quentin Tarantino’s guesthouse, according to Vulture.
Dorothy was born Dorothy Hoogstraten. The Hoogstraten family has roots in the Netherlands. Her father, Simon Hoogstraten, left the family when Dorothy was 3. Nelly has three children: Dorothy; Louise, and a son, John Arthur Hoogstraten. See childhood photos of Dorothy here.
The book Picture Shows: The life and Films of Peter Bogdanovich by Andrew Yule states that Dorothy was born in a Salvation Army Hospital on February 28, 1960. Her parents’ full names were Peternella (Nelly) Schapp Fuchs and Simon Hoogstraten. Nelly had grown up in an orphanage in Holland and also worked as a housekeeper, becoming pregnant by an employer when Dorothy was still a child. That child was Louise, Dorothy’s half sister. They were on social assistance while Nelly trained to become a nurse.
Snider, who was also from Vancouver, quit school in the seventh grade after his parents split up and worked as a leather cutter in his dad’s sweatshop, the book says. He moved on to promote “whatever he could find to promise” from go-go dancers to automobiles. He was also a pimp.