Friday, October 9, 2020

Saturday 'Stache (continued)

Eric Roberts was dirty pornstar hot, while Mariel Hemingway was never more lovely

If you're interested in learning more about "Star 80," Filmotomy has a nice write-up HERE.

The original theatrical trailer 

The film's most memorable scene ...

And if you're interested in more about the actual case, Teresa Carpenter's Nov. 5, 1980, Village Voice piece titled Death of a Playmate is a good place to start. (It won a Pulitzer in 1981.)

The real Dorothy Stratten (nee Hoogstraten) and Paul Snider, who was mostly a low-life and deadbeat but after spending time in a Playboy club did conceive of the idea of an all-male equivalent: the Chippendale dancers. (He was forced out before ever cashing in.)

With Christie Brinkley and Dorothy

 Dorothy Stratten was the focus of the dreams and ambitions of three men. One killed her. The other two, of course, were Hugh Hefner and director Peter Bogdanovich, with whom Dorothy was having an affair. After her murder, Peter descended into a very dark place, eventually writing "The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960–1980," a memoir published in 1984. (In it, Bogdanovich claims Snider knew about the affair but only became enraged after Hefner banned him from the Playboy Mansion, although there's really no way of knowing what motivates a cold-blooded killer)

But as fascinating as the heinous crime was, I've always been more interested in the fallout, which eight years later saw a 49-year-old Bogdanovich marry Dorothy's sister, 20-year-old Louise, who was 12 at the time of the murder. (Although she uses the same surname, Louise is actually a child Dorothy's mom conceived out of wedlock with her married employer years after Dorothy's father had deserted the family.) Louise had a supporting role in Bogdanovich's 1988 bomb starring Rob Lowe, "Illegally Yours,” and has had occasional bit parts since. (You might remember her as Daughtrey Saloon Girl in 2012's "Django Unchained"!) The couple were together 15 years, divorcing in 2001, but this AP article from Jan. 3, 1989, gives you a pretty good idea of just how fraught the union was at the time. (Bold emphasis mine):

Director Peter Bogdanovich Marries Sister of Late Dorothy Stratten

SEATTLE (AP) --  Film director Peter Bogdanovich has married the younger sister of murdered Playboy magazine model Dorothy Stratten, a lawyer representing Bogdanovich said Monday. 

Stratten, a 1980 Playmate of the Year who acted in a film directed by Bogdanovich, was shot and killed by her husband, Paul Snider, in August 1980 in California. The killing reportedly occurred after Snider learned his wife was having an affair with Bogdanovich. 

Bogdanovich, 49, married Louise Hoogstraten, 20, also known as L.B. Stratten, last Friday morning at a hotel in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area, said Joel R. Junker, a Seattle attorney who described himself as the director’s immigration lawyer. The couple had planned a church wedding in Los Angeles later this spring, but married earlier in Canada on their advice of their lawyers, Junker said. 

″That’s so Mrs. Bogdanovich, who is a Canadian citizen, would be able to be with her husband in Los Angeles,″ Junker said in a telephone interview from his Seattle home. 

Bogdanovich, who directed ″The Last Picture Show,″ ″Paper Moon″ and ″Mask,″ has filed a petition to obtain permanent residence status for his wife in the United States, Junker said. Ms. Hoogstraten had been in the United States on a visitor’s visa, the lawyer said. He declined to provide any other details on the couple or the ceremony and said no statement was available from either Bogdanovich or his bride. 

Nelly Hoogstraten, Louise’s mother, said on Vancouver television that she was not informed about the wedding. 

″I’ve cried before, and I cry now because I’ve lost another daughter,″ she said when interviewed on the doorstep of her home. 

Bogdanovich, in a book titled ″The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten, 1960-1980,″ criticized Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire for its alleged role in events he said ended in Miss Stratten’s death. In the book, Bogdanovich wrote of how he was captivated by the innocent charm of Ms. Stratten, whom he directed in her best-known film, ″They All Laughed,″ a comedy with John Ritter, Audrey Hepburn and Ben Gazzara. 

In the mid-1980s, stories surfaced of a relationship between Bogdanovich and Ms. Stratten’s younger sister. Louise Stratten filed a slander lawsuit against Hefner and Burl Eldridge, who was married to her mother from May 1980 to January 1981.

The suit contended Hefner and Eldridge falsely told reporters Bogdanovich had seduced Louise Stratten when she was 13 and also had sexual relations with her mother after the older sister was killed. The lawsuit also said Hefner and Eldridge claimed Bogdanovich had paid for Louise Stratten to have plastic surgery to make her look more like her late sister

Hefner also said Bogdanovich’s published criticism contributed to a stroke he suffered. 

Louise Stratten dropped the lawsuit in August 1985 and Bogdanovich said at the time he hoped that resolution would end his feud with Hefner. Both men publicly made peace.

Half sisters: Dorothy and Louise

But the marriage didn't come completely out of nowhere. 

In light of their collective emotional turmoil it made perfect sense when Bogdanovich invited [Dorothy's mother] Nelly and young Louise to move down to Los Angeles, take up residence in his mansion, and help him write the book about Dorothy’s life. 

But when they arrived things got weird. Bogdanovich bought the Hoogstratens new wardrobes and enrolled them in tap dancing classes. He arranged for Louise to undergo plastic surgery to repair her protruding jaw. Inexplicably, the 12-year-old’s nose was also altered during the procedure. Childhood friend Julie Fisher told People magazine, “You can see in the snapshots I took of us over the years. She has a new nose now, ore like Dorothy’s.” Nelly and Louise stayed in the Los Angeles mansion for a year before moving back to Vancouver in 1982, but Bogdanovich remained a part of their lives long after that. 

According to Playboy’s Elizabeth Norris, Bogdanovich had a phone installed in Louise’s bedroom in Vancouver so he could speak with her every night before she went to sleep. When Louise had a vacation from school, she would visit Bogdanovich in Los Angeles. Sometimes her mother would travel with her, sometimes Louise would go alone.

His book was released in 1984. It was immediately panned. The negative reception was predictable because the book’s release coincided with the emergence of rumours about a romantic relationship between Bogdanovich and Louise Hoogstraten. Cindy Adams in the New York Post wrote, “I know you know Dorothy Stratten was the 1980 Playmate whose lover was Peter Bogdanovich. What you might not know is Dorothy had a sister, Louise. What you for sure don’t know is Louise’s new beau is Peter Bogdanovich… Louise is a teenager.”

The fallout from Bogdanovich’s book wasn’t over. Upon learning that he had been portrayed as a central cause of Dorothy’s death, Hugh Hefner was hospitalized with a stroke. On April 1,1985, Hefner called a press conference to correct the record. While at the lectern he used a few choice words to discredit Bogdanovich. 

"There was pursuit of Dorothy’s entire family… followed by the seduction of the sister as a pathological replacement of Dorothy that has continued from that time to the present.” 

Bogdanovich and the Hoogstraten family brought a $5 million slander suit against Hefner for having insinuated that a sexual relationship took place. Curiously, the suit was dropped as soon as depositions began. Hefner suspected it was because they didn’t want the truth to come out. The depositions remain sealed.

In 2014, Vanity Fair writer John Heilpern asked the director about his marriage to Louise:

“I’m sorry to dwell on this,” I said, “but you became a pariah when you married Dorothy Stratten’s sister, Louise, eight years later.” 

“A lot of nonsense was written about us. But we were both in a shipwreck together, and we were thrown together as friends and family. We saved each other.” 

“When you married her, you were almost 50, and she was 20.”

 “Well, tough shit,” he said. “I’ve stopped caring what people think. My life was going to be what it was, and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life explaining it.” 

He and Louise were divorced after 14 years of marriage -- but they remain close friends. She’s his co-writer and an executive producer of his first film in a while, a comedy entitled "Squirrels to the Nuts" (which he had just completed shooting). 

Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, leading lights of the hip, new generation of filmmakers -- both fans of his work, as is Quentin Tarantino -- raised the financing for it. They call him “Pop.” 

(The film was released in 2014 as "She's Funny That Way" and starred Owen Wilson, Kathryn Hahn, Imogen Poots, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Aniston and another of Peter's scandalous ex-girlfriends, Cybill Shepherd!)

In 2019, Vulture reported that Bogdanovich still lives with his ex-wife -- and her once-disapproving mother(!) -- in a modest ground-floor apartment in Toluca Lake, Calif.:
Mid-interview, a diminutive, grandmotherly woman with a Dutch accent sneaks behind him through the tight dining room on her way to the kitchen. Bogdanovich motions at my copy of "The Killing of the Unicorn," the book he wrote about the 1980 murder of his then-girlfriend, Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, Louise’s sister. “Hide that book, will you?” he requests. “That is Dorothy’s mother.” 

Nelly Hoogstraten appears several more times: to deliver him pills, to ask if he’d like her to make coffee, to see when he’d like his dinner. 

“Thank you, darling,” he answers every time.

Further reading: 

A 2012 interview HERE.

Two years before "Star 80" was released, a made-for-TV movie called "Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story" aired on NBC. 

Jamie Lee Curtis and Bruce Weitz played the doomed couple.