'The Last Picture Show' Production Designer Polly Platt Dies at 72

4:23 PM PST 07/27/2011 by Mike Barnes

The Oscar nominee, who also worked as a producer, partnered with then-husband Peter Bogdanovich and James L. Brooks on other films including "Paper Moon" and "Terms of Endearment."

Polly Platt, an Oscar-nominated production designer, producer and writer who teamed with then-husband Peter Bogdanovich on such period films as Paper Moon and The Last Picture Show, died Wednesday in Brooklyn from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She was 72.

Platt had a long collaboration with James L. Brooks as a producer or executive producer on such films as the best-picture Oscar nominee Broadcast News (1987), Say Anything … (1989), The War of the Roses (1989), I’ll Do Anything (1994) and Wes Anderson's first film, Bottle Rocket (1996).

Her final producing credit, the 2011 documentary Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, brought her full circle in Hollywood — with Bogdanovich, she started in the movies as a costume designer and stunt double for Nancy Sinatra on producer-director Corman’s The Wild Angels (1966).

The multi-faceted Platt earned an Oscar nom for her production design on Terms of Endearment (1983).

For director Bogdanovich, she also designed sets and/or costumes for his breakthrough film Targets (1968), which she also co-wrote, as well as for The Last Picture Show (1971), What’s Up, Doc (1972) and Paper Moon (1973).

Her marriage collapsed on the set of The Last Picture Show when Bogdanovich left her during filming for the movie’s star, Cybill Shepherd, yet the two continued to work together on What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon. (Platt reportedly suggested the casting of Ryan O’Neal’s daughter Tatum, who had never acted before, alongside her father. Tatum, then 10, went on to win an Oscar for best supporting actress.)

Their relationship was the basis for the Drew Barrymore-starring Irreconcilable Differences (1984).

A native of Fort Sheridan, Ill., Platt also served as production designer on A Star Is Born (1976), The Bad News Bears (1976), Young Doctors in Love (1982), The Man With Two Brains (1983) and The Witches of Eastwick (1987).

Her writing credits include Pretty Baby (1978), Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1979) and A Map of the World (1999).

E-mail: Mike.Barnes@thr.com

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