Arthur Penn dies at 88; director of landmark film ‘Bonnie and Clyde’
LOS ANGELES — Arthur Penn, the three-time Oscar-nominated director best known for “Bonnie and Clyde,” the landmark 1967 film that stirred critical passions over its graphic violence and became a harbinger of a new era of American filmmaking, died Tuesday, a day after he turned 88.
Penn died of congestive heart failure at his New York City home, said his daughter, Molly. A veteran of directing live television dramas in the 1950s, Penn made his film directorial debut with “The Left Handed Gun,” a 1958 revisionist Western starring Paul Newman as Billy the Kid.
Penn, who was often attracted to characters who were outsiders, directed only a dozen other feature films over the next three decades, including “The Miracle Worker,” “The Chase,” “Mickey One,” “Alice’s Restaurant,” “Little Big Man,” “Night Moves,” “The Missouri Breaks” and “Four Friends.”
But during his heyday in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Penn was in the vanguard of American filmmakers and is considered a pivotal figure in American cinema thanks to “Bonnie and Clyde,” the standout film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as Depression-era bank robbers-turned folk heroes.