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Also Known As: Died: July 27, 2011
Born: January 29, 1939 Cause of Death: Lou Gehrig's Disease
Birth Place: Fort Sheridan, Illinois, USA Profession: Producer, Production designer, Screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A versatile behind-the-camera talent, Polly Platt began her Hollywood career alongside then-husband Peter Bogdanovich on several Roger Corman cheapies before serving as his production designer on "The Last Picture Show" (1971), "What's Up, Doc?" (1972) and "Paper Moon" (1973). Even before those films, the couple had divorced over his affair with actress Cybill Shepherd, though she maintained their professional relationship. But that ended in 1973, with many critics ascribing the drastic drop in quality in Bogdanovich's later work to the absence of Platt's particular genius. Meanwhile, Platt reached immense professional heights on her own in a variety of fields, serving the production designer on "The Bad News Bears" (1976), "A Star Is Born" (1976), "The Man with Two Brains" (1983), "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987) and James L. Brooks's "Terms of Endearment" (1983). She wrote the screenplay and produced the controversial "Pretty Baby" (1978), before partnering with Brooks to segue into an impressive producing career, notching producer credits for "Broadcast News" (1987), "Say Anything " (1989), "The War of the Roses" (1989), "I'll Do Anything" (1994), "The Evening Star" (1996) and "Bottle Rocket"...

A versatile behind-the-camera talent, Polly Platt began her Hollywood career alongside then-husband Peter Bogdanovich on several Roger Corman cheapies before serving as his production designer on "The Last Picture Show" (1971), "What's Up, Doc?" (1972) and "Paper Moon" (1973). Even before those films, the couple had divorced over his affair with actress Cybill Shepherd, though she maintained their professional relationship. But that ended in 1973, with many critics ascribing the drastic drop in quality in Bogdanovich's later work to the absence of Platt's particular genius. Meanwhile, Platt reached immense professional heights on her own in a variety of fields, serving the production designer on "The Bad News Bears" (1976), "A Star Is Born" (1976), "The Man with Two Brains" (1983), "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987) and James L. Brooks's "Terms of Endearment" (1983). She wrote the screenplay and produced the controversial "Pretty Baby" (1978), before partnering with Brooks to segue into an impressive producing career, notching producer credits for "Broadcast News" (1987), "Say Anything " (1989), "The War of the Roses" (1989), "I'll Do Anything" (1994), "The Evening Star" (1996) and "Bottle Rocket" (1996). Behind the camera, Platt left an indelible mark as a pioneer for women in the entertainment industry, thanks to her immensely versatile creative talents.

Born Jan. 29, 1939 in Fort Sheridan, IL the daughter of Dutch and German immigrants, Platt broke into the entertainment industry alongside Bogdanovich after famed indie producer, Roger Corman, gave her husband the opportunity to work on several films. Platt gained valuable crew experience as costumer designer - and Nancy Sinatra's stunt double - on "The Wild Angels" (1966), and as a production coordinator on the Mamie Van Doren exploitation clip-job "Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women" (1968). Platt's behind-the-camera talents proved crucial to Bogdanovich's rise, and it was with their combined powers that both ascended the Hollywood ranks. For their next Corman collaboration, Platt helped Bogdanovich write the screenplay for the assassin-themed "Targets" (1968), starring Boris Karloff, on which she also served costume designer and production designer. Having graduated from Corman's filmmaking boot camp, Platt and Bogdanovich went on to create a critical masterpiece, the aching American epic of lost innocence and a dying small town called "The Last Picture Show" (1971). Although Bogdanovich earned the lion's share of the credit, Platt's genius was a vital part of the film's success as the costume and production designer, ensuring that even the smallest period details were perfect.

Although Bogdanovich's affair with Cybill Shepherd on "Picture Show" led to Platt filing for divorce, the two remained professional partners and generated what was regarded as the best of the director's career. They pooled their talents again for the smash Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal screwball "What's Up, Doc?" (1972), which critics and audiences agreed evoked the best of Howard Hawks's madcap comedies. Platt stepped out on her own to serve as production designer for the Ryan O'Neal and Jacqueline Bisset comedy "The Thief Who Came to Dinner" (1973), but reunited one last time to do the costumes and production design for Bogdanovich's masterpiece, the Depression-set classic "Paper Moon" (1973). Representing the zenith of their collaboration, the tale of a father (Ryan O'Neal) and daughter (Tatum O'Neal) con artist team became a much-loved classic and proved a high-water mark on which to part ways. Platt went on to achieve considerable success on her own, designing the production for the charming underdog baseball comedy "The Bad News Bears" (1976), starring Tatum O'Neal, and the lush remake of "A Star Is Born" (1976) with Streisand. Spreading her professional wings, Platt earned an associate producer credit and wrote the screenplay for Louis Malle's controversial "Pretty Baby" (1978), starring Brooke Shields and Susan Sarandon.

She designed the production of the Garry Marshall hospital soap spoof "Young Doctors in Love" (1982) and the Steve Martin-Kathleen Turner sci-fi comedy "The Man with Two Brains" (1983), but it would be her partnership with James L. Brooks that would elevate her to a higher professional plane. As production designer on the Oscar-winning drama, "Terms of Endearment" (1983), Platt earned an Academy Award nomination for her work. The following year saw the release of hit comedy "Irreconcilable Differences" (1984), which was loosely based on Platt and Bogdanovich's marriage and divorce. After co-producing and designing the production of the Emmy-winning drama, "Between Two Women" (ABC, 1986), Platt earned her first executive producer credit for James L. Brooks's classic, far-sighted comedy "Broadcast News" (1987), starring Holly Hunter, William Hurt and Albert Brooks. She booked her final production designer job on the supernatural smash "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987), which starred Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher, Susan Sarandon and Jack Nicholson. She took a small role in Cameron Crowe and John Cusack's love letter to teen romanticism, "Say Anything " (1989), as well as serving as producer, and flirted with the idea of directing Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito in "The War of the Roses" (1989) before choosing to executive produce the black comedy hit instead.

Honored with a 1994 Women in Film Crystal Award, Platt served as producer on two additional James L. Brooks projects, the ill-fated Nick Nolte almost-musical "I'll Do Anything" (1994) and the "Terms of Endearment" sequel "The Evening Star" (1996), which reunited stars Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson, but both projects underwhelmed financially as well as critically. Platt lent a hand to help Wes Anderson, Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson jumpstart their careers when she produced their low-key, high-charm breakthrough crime comedy, "Bottle Rocket" (1996). She wrote the screenplay for the drama "A Map of the World" (1999), with Sigourney Weaver and Julianne Moore, while Platt's last major credit came as the executive producer on the documentary "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel" (2011), a loving look back at the ultimate sink-or-swim film school that had given so many their Hollywood starts. That year, on July 27, 2011, Polly Platt died after a lengthy battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in Brooklyn, NY. She was 72. Platt's contributions to film and her amazing career as a pioneer for women in the entertainment industry lived on, and continued to inspire new generations of filmmakers and audiences alike.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Sugar Town (1999) Maggie
4.
 Say Anything (1989) Mrs Flood
5.
7.
 Without Lying Down (2000) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Spent early childhood in postwar Germany
:
While designing theater in New York, she met Peter Bogdanovich, who was directing for the stage
:
Moved to California with then husband, Peter Bogdanovich
:
With Bogdanovich, wrote and sold two scripts to Roger Corman, "The Gill Woman of Venus" and "Targets"
1968:
First film collaboration with Bogdanovich, was the production designer on "Targets"; Bogdanovich also made his directorial debut
1971:
Designed the highly acclaimed, "The Last Picture Show"; also directed by Bogdanovich
1972:
Again collaborated with Bogdanovich on "What's Up, Doc?"
1973:
Worked with Bogdanovich on the Oscar winning film, "Paper Moon"
1976:
Designed the production for "A Star Is Born," starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson
1978:
First produced screenplay, "Pretty Baby"; directed by Louis Malle and starring Brooke Shields
1982:
Designed the production for Garry Marshall's "Young Doctors in Love"
1983:
First worked with James L Brooks on "Terms of Endearment"
:
Served as vice president of James L Brooks' Gracie Films
1987:
First feature credit as executive producer, Brooks' "Broadcast News"
1987:
Was the production designer on "The Witches of Eastwick"
1989:
First feature credit as producer, "Say Anything"
1994:
Produced James L Brooks' "I'll Do Anything"
1996:
Was a producer on Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket"; executive produced by Brooks
1999:
Co-scripted the film adaptation of Jane Hamilton's novel, "A Map of the World"
2000:
Executive produced the Oxygen series, "The Girl in the Picture"
2011:
Final producing credit, the documentary, "Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -

Notes

"She was my film directing mentor. When I was setting up a shot, I would glance over to her, and she would put her finger in her mouth and make believe she was gagging, so I'd change the shot. She was very quick and blunt -- this is good, this is bad -- and she could do it from twenty feet away." --Director Garry Marshall quoted in Premiere, November 1993. Platt was production designer on Marshall's first feature, "Young Doctors in Love".

"You might have a gas station, like the Texaco station. I remember her taking out the E, so you'd just see T XACO. It was very subtle, but something about the design -- you felt it had happened" --Jeff Bridges quoted on Platt's production design for "The Last Picture Show" in Premiere, November 1993.

"He brought me film -- I brought him life." --Platt on second husband director Peter Bogdanovich, Premiere, November 1993.

"I love Polly. I always loved her. I have tremendous respect for her. She was a tremendous inspiration and help, and she's an inspiration in the work we did together. She was the closest collaborator I had on those pictures. We obviously spent a lot of time together, working together on projects. She was an invaluable collaborator. The rest of the stuff is emotional garbage. You get down to the bottom line, the love is there. She knows that." --Peter Bogdanovich quoted in Premiere, November 1993.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Philip Klein. Poet. Married c. 1960; died in car accident c. 1961.
husband:
Peter Bogdanovich. Director. Married in 1962; divorced in 1971.
husband:
Anthony Wade. Property master. Together from 1972; married briefly in the 1970s; divorced; reunited; died c. 1985.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Vivian Abigail Marr. Suffered nervous breakdown when family relocated to Germany; plagued by mental illness throughout rest of her life; eventually committed to mental institution; reportedly also alcoholic; was from a wealthy socially prominent family.
brother:
Jack Platt.
daughter:
Antonia Bogdanovich. Photographer; actor. Born c. 1967.
daughter:
Alexandra Welles Bogdanovich. Born in 1970.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Henry Hathaway: A Directors Guild of America Oral History" Scarecrow Press

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