Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Polly Platt

Assisting on the movie Broadcast News nearly thirty years ago was an amazing experience for me because it introduced me to the creative world of Hollywood. More importantly, it introduced me to some incredibly smart and caring professionals

Polly Platt was one of those people. She was an energetic, intelligent and skilled writer, producer and production designer. Now Polly has died of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. She was 72 years old.

Polly was married and worked beside her ex-husband Peter Bogdanovich on many of his early films. They included The Last Picture Show, What's Up Doc and Paper Moon. In fact, Bogdanovich credited Polly with converting Larry McMurtry's novel into the script for The Last Picture Show. But that movie also brought an end to their marriage as Bogdanovich left her during the filming for his leading lady, Cybill Shepard. Nonetheless, Polly maintained a close working relationship with her ex-husband.

Later, Polly received an Oscar nomination for her art direction on the 1983 film Term's of Endearment. This was the first in a series of films she would work on with writer, producer and director James L. Brooks. They also included Broadcast News, Say Anything, The War of The Roses, I'll Do Anything and Bottle Rocket. During her incredible career she also had production design credits for A Star Is Born, The Bad News Bears, Young Doctors In Love, The Witches Of Eastwick and The Man With Two Brains. Her screenwriting credits included Pretty Baby starring Brooke Shields, Good Luck, and A Map Of The World.

Polly was strong willed, driven and devoted. Back in 1985 she was fascinated with the business of broadcast news and captured the reality of the already rapidly changing business in her work for that movie. This was always true in her work because she had a great eye and worked hard to impart a deep understanding of her subject and characters. She lived her life on the cutting edge of the film industry and did her part to push its boundaries.

I will remember her as a wonderful person who made a difference and left an indelible mark on her craft.

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