Peter Bogdanovich Today: Where Is the Director Now?

peter bogdanovich

Getty Peter Bogdanovich and Louise Stratten.

Peter Bogdanovich was a central figure in the life of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten. They were having a romantic affair at the time of her death that infuriated the man who murdered her, her estranged husband Paul Snider.

At the time, Bogdanovich was at the height of his directing fame, coming off of movies like The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon. The director also was a prominent player in the aftermath of Stratten’s death, railing at Playboy Magazine’s founder Hugh Hefner and, most notably and perhaps bizarrely, wedding the half sister of Dorothy, Louise Hoogstraten.

Stratten was a 20-year-old Canadian naif who was on the pinnacle of stardom when Snider murdered her before turning the shotgun on himself; she was already drawing Marilyn Monroe comparisons and was named the 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Year. An acting career was in real reach. Her death left Bogdanovich shattered.

Stratten’s life will be featured in a two-hour episode of 20/20 on Friday, October 18, 2019.

Today, Peter Bogdanovich is 80 years old (he was born on July 30, 1939). He continued his career in Hollywood in a variety of ways but never achieved the success he saw in the 1970s. In 2019, Vulture conducted an interview with Bogdanovich and described him as “noticeably frail as he recovers from a fall he suffered while at a French film festival, where he collected a lifetime-­achievement award; he shattered his left femur.”

He told Vulture of Snider and Stratten: “He 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 Hefner banned him from the Mansion.” He also described how devastated he was when 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.”

Here’s what you need to know about Peter Bogdanovich today:

Peter Bogdanovich Married – But Later Divorced – Dorothy’s Kid Sister, Louise Stratten But They Were Still Living Together in 2019

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GettyLouise Stratten with Peter Bogdanovich.

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, 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. 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.

In 1984, Bogdanovich wrote a book called, The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten, 1960-1980. It can still be purchased on Amazon. The book attacked Hugh Hefner and Playboy culture and Hefner had a stroke as a result of it. “Well, I destroyed him. I destroyed the whole Playboy myth — which, by the way, was a myth. The so-called sexual revolution of the late ’50s and ’60s was just another way of making it easier for guys to get laid,” Bogdanovich told Vulture in 2019.

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).” The marriage to Louise was the third marriage for Bogdanovich; in 2001, he filed for divorce after 12 years of marriage to Louise.

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.

Bogdanovich’s Career Was Never the Same After Dorothy’s Murder

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GettyPeter Bogdanovich (l)

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.

His romantic life was already entangled before Dorothy’s death, most famously when he dumped his wife Polly Platt for the actress Cybill Shepherd. According to IMDB, some have argued that Platt played a key role in Bogdanovich’s earlier movie successes. In 2007, Vulture reported, Bogdanovich made a documentary about Tom Petty called Runnin’ Down a Dream. He’s a character in Orson Welles’ Other Side of the Wind (called Brooks Otterlak), recently released on Netflix.

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.

Stratten’s Estranged Husband Grew Enraged Over Her Relationship With Bogdanovich

dorothy stratten paul snider

GettyDorothy Stratten and Paul Snider.

Newspaper coverage from the time of Stratten’s death provides the disturbing and grisly details. But before she was murdered, Dorothy Stratten was known as Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten, and she was a wholesome Canadian teenager working at a Dairy Queen when Snider, later her husband, discovered her and encouraged her to send naked photos to Playboy.

Dorothy was also from a broken home (her parents were Dutch immigrants). She had two siblings, a brother and sister named Louise. She was working in the Dairy Queen to help her mother pay bills after her father abandoned the family, ABC News reports.

At the time of her death, she had just completed production on her first major film, They All Laughed, by Bogdanovich.

A People Magazine article from 1989 described how Bogdanovich cast Stratten in a movie. She was only 19 and he quickly became “obsessed with her,” telling People, “I could hardly believe that she really existed, that she wasn’t a dream. There was something miraculous about Dorothy Stratten.”

He added, “I don’t know if I can ever love as totally and completely as I loved Dorothy,” People Magazine reported, adding that, after the murder, Bogdanovich gave up making movies for a time and devoted himself to Dorothy’s mother, Nelly, and her kid sister, Louise, then 12.

Snider killed Dorothy with a shotgun blast to the face after raping her. He then turned the gun on himself. “The motive was apparently that he was despondent over the breakup of the marriage,” police Lt. Dan Cooke said at the time to the Associated Press, which added that Stratten moved out of the home she shared with Snider two months before.

In a statement released after her death, Bogdanovich said, “Dorothy Stratten was as gifted and intelligent an actress as she was beautiful, and she was very beautiful indeed – in every way imaginable – most particularly in her heart. She and I feel in love during our picture and had planned to be married as soon as her divorce was final. The loss to her mother and father, her sister and brother, to my children, to her friends and to me is larger than we can calculate.”

A 1980 article in the Edmonton Journal reported that Snider expected “but could not prove” that Stratten was having an affair. Snider had found “poems and love letters” from Bogdanovich to Stratten, according to the Journal, and wanted Goldstein, the private investigator to do more research.

Dorothy Stratten

GettyDorothy Stratten in 1980

Snider was afraid he would never see her again and that he was losing control, The Journal reported. He had called a photographer friend crying because he could “not touch Dorothy or get near her.” Dorothy had gone on a holiday to London with Bogdanovich.

Bogdanovich states in the court records that Snider had purchased a gun. Snider was “upset and despondent because of, among other things, the marital problems Snider was experiencing with Stratten and that Stratten was romantically involved with Bogdanovich,” the records say.

The breakup of Snider’s marriage to Stratten was “imminent,” Bogdanovich believed. Snider “had been barred from the Playboy mansion unless he was accompanied by Stratten and…this infuriated Snider.” Furthermore Bogdanovich claimed that Snider was involved “with drugs and perverse sex at the time he was upset concerning the breakup of his marriage and looking to purchase a gun.”

Bogdanovich said that Snider had arranged for a meeting with Stratten after he was aware that she “desired to terminate the marriage and after Snider had purchased a gun.” Dorothy Stratten “kept the meeting with Snider as arranged on August 14, 1980.” Snider was “moody, upset and/or despondent” in the days before the death, the court records saw.