Oscar nominee worked with James L. Brooks
Polly Platt, executive producer of films including “Broadcast News,” “Say Anything…” and “The War of the Roses,” producer of “Bottle Rocket” and an acclaimed production designer Oscar nominated for her work on 1983’s “Terms of Endearment,” died Wednesday in Brooklyn. She was 72 and had ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Platt was married to Peter Bogdanovich from 1966-’70 and worked with him on several films but was later associated creatively with writer-director James L. Brooks. She was the production designer on Bogdanovich’s first feature, “Targets” (also credited with the story), as well as on “The Last Picture Show,” “What’s Up, Doc?” and “Paper Moon” — their professional relationship lasted longer than their marriage. She was also an uncredited costume designer on the Bogdanovich films as well as on Robert Altman’s “Thieves Like Us.”
(The 1984 comedy “Irreconcilable Differences,” with Ryan O’Neal, Shelley Long and Drew Barrymore, was based loosely on the Bogdanoviches’ relationship.)
“As Wes Anderson just wrote me, Polly was ‘one of a kind,’?” Bogdanovich said in a statement Wednesday. “In the filmmaking process, in every department, she was golden.
“Polly had the quickest and most discerning eye as to what would work and what wouldn’t. For anyone lucky enough to collaborate with her, it was a privilege. Our two daughters and three grandsons and I will miss her every day.”
Platt worked for other directors as well as the production designer on films of the 1970s and ’80 such as “Bad News Bears,” “A Star Is Born,” “The Man With Two Brains” and “The Witches of Eastwick.”
Platt began producing with 1978’s “Pretty Baby,” which she also scripted. She received an associate producer credit.
Platt began her association with Brooks on 1983’s “Terms of Endearment,” followed by 1987’s “Broadcast News,” followed by “The War of the Roses” (she was exec producer, he producer), “Say Anything…” (she was producer and appeared in the film; he was exec producer), the Brooks-directed “I’ll Do Anything” (both produced) and “Bottle Rocket” (she was producer, he exec producer).
Platt was VP and then exec VP at Brooks’ Gracie Films.
“Polly almost never talked about her own extreme gifts,” Brooks said, “but she could go hours on anyone whose work she respected. And the only time I heard her say anything with extreme pride of self was ‘John Ford gave me his hat.’ And he had..this great fedora..filled with the sweat stains of epic shoots. John Ford had figured out the extreme and perfect way to say what so many of us feel right now. Hats off to Polly Platt.”
She produced “Terms of Endearment” sequel “The Evening Star” in 1996.
In 2000, Platt was exec producer of the Oxygen network comedy series “The Girl in the Picture.”
Platt earned few credits in the 2000s but was exec producer of 2007’s “West Texas Lullaby.” Her most recent work was the 2011 doc “Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel,” which she exec produced and in which both she and Bogdanovich appear.
Platt appeared as an interviewee in a number of docs on Hollywood, including “Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas” (1991), “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood” (2003), “A Decade Under the Influence” (2003) and “Women on Top: Hollywood and Power” (2003).
She was born in Fort Sheridan, Ill., and attended Carnegie-Mellon U. in Pittsburgh.
Platt received the Women in Film Crystal Award in 1994.
She was married three times; her third husband died in 1985. Platt is survived by two daughters, actress Antonia Bogdanovich and Alexandra Welles (Sashy) Bogdanovich, who has various film credits; two stepchildren; her brother; and grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
A private memorial will be held in Los Angeles at a later date.