Bradley Cooper has been sweeping up nominations all season in his supporting role as the colorful, seemingly manic Jon Peters in Paul Thomas Anderson’s love letter to 1970s Riverside, Licorice Pizza—a role that likely had audiences googling “who the f** is Jon Peters” shortly after leaving theaters.
In addition to Cooper’s portrayal, Warren Beatty’s iconic George Roundy in Shampoo—a hair dressing lothario whose libido gets in the way of his ambitions—is said to have been inspired by Peters. While Kris Kristofferson’s partial-to-the-bottle rock star in the 1976 A Star is Born remake stole lines right out of his mouth.
Van Nuys-born Peters is said to have gotten his start at 14, dying pubic hair in New York, before gaining fame as Beverly Hills hairdresser to the likes of Jack Nicholson, Beatty, Sue Mengers—and eventually, Barbra Streisand. The superstar hand-picked Peters as her hairstylist in 1973’s For Pete’s Sake, soon thereafter falling in love and continuing a relationship, both romantically and creatively, for the better part of a decade. The union was a career turning point for the ambitious Peters, who went on to produce several of Streisand’s albums, as well as racking up awards for A Star is Born. Over 40 years later, Peters would go on to be credited as a producer on Cooper’s own version of the film, starring Gaga in the Streisand role.
In between producing Caddyshack, Flashdance, Rain Man, the epic disaster Wild Wild West, and launching the comic book superhero craze as we know it with the first cinematic Batman franchise, Peter made the rounds as Pamela Anderson’s husband for a whopping 12 days, in addition to his four other marriages. Dated Kim Basinger. Got embroiled in the Heidi Fleiss controversy. Got himself banned by Christopher Nolan from the Superman films. Received a star on the Walk of Fame. Served briefly as head of Sony. Got into a fist fight with Steven Seagal. And is said to have been the one to convince Nicholson to play The Joker.
That’s a helluva lot of life to pack in. And with the life (and, lets be honest, a pretty terrible reputation), came the wardrobe to match his larger-than-life antics. Big life, big lapels with even bigger collars. Rich velvets. Oversized bowties. The louche shades. All seemingly lifted right off current Tom Ford and Gucci collections. Bold plaids and tweeds mixed with graphic prints. Safari cut jackets. Camel coats. Don’t even get us started on those peacock-worthy ruffled shirt cuffs and piped-lapel double breasted suits that recall 2019-era Band of Outsiders (which Peters reworked decades later in less flattering, but more boss, late eighties silhouettes).
A wardrobe dripping in the kind of confidence and oversized swagger one would imagine opening a lot of doors and garnering the kind of big breaks that could take a 14-year-old kid from New York hair salons to Hollywood inner circles.