FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Name: Francis Ford Coppola                                                             
Born: 7 April 1939 Detroit, Michigan, U.S.                                             
Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award winning         
American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Coppola is also a vintner,         
magazine publisher, and hotelier. He earned an M.F.A. in film directing from the       
UCLA Film School. He is most renowned for directing the highly regarded                 
Godfather trilogy, The Conversation, and the Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now.           
Francis Ford Coppola was born to Carmine Coppola (who, at the time, was the             
first flautist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra) and his wife, Italia, in             
Detroit, Michigan, on April 7, 1939. He was the second of three children (his           
sister is actress Talia Shire). Two years later, Carmine became the first               
flautist for the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the family moved to New York City,         
finding a home in Woodside, Queens, where Francis spent the remainder of his           
Coppola had poliomyelitis, or polio, as a boy, leaving him bedridden for large         
periods of his childhood, and allowing him to indulge his imagination with             
homemade puppet theater productions. Using his father's 8mm movie camera, he           
began making movies when he was 10. He studied theatre at Hofstra University and       
graduated from the University in 1960, prior to earning a Master of Fine Arts           
degree in film direction from UCLA Film School. There, he made numerous short           
films. While in UCLA's Film Department, Francis met Jim Morrison, whose music           
was used later in Apocalypse Now.                                                       
Coppola often worked with family members on his films. He cast his two sons in         
The Godfather as extras during the street fight scene and Don Corleone's funeral;       
his daughter, Sofia Coppola, appeared in the first and third installments of the       
series. His sister, Talia Shire, played Connie Corleone in all three Godfather         
films. His father Carmine, a composer and professional musician, co-wrote much         
of the music in The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Apocalypse Now. His           
nephew, Nicholas Cage, starred in Coppola's film Peggy Sue Got Married and was         
featured in Rumble Fish and The Cotton Club.                                           
His eldest son, Gian-Carlo Coppola, was in the early stages of a film production       
career when he was killed on May 26, 1986 in a speedboat accident. Coppola's           
surviving son, Roman Coppola, is a filmmaker and music video director whose             
filmography includes the feature film CQ and music videos for The Strokes, as           
well as co-writing the Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited.                       
Coppola's daughter, Sofia Coppola, is an Academy Award-winning writer and -nominated   
director. Her films include the critically-acclaimed films The Virgin Suicides         
and Lost in Translation. In 2004, she became the first American woman to be             
nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, for Lost in Translation.             
Other famous members of Coppola's family include his nephews, Jason Schwartzman         
and Robert Schwartzman. Jason Schwartzman has starred in several films, such as         
Rushmore and Slackers. He also co-wrote (along with director Wes Anderson and           
cousin Roman Coppola) and starred in the 2007 film The Darjeeling Limited. His         
brother, Robert Schwartzman, is the lead singer in the band Rooney and has made         
small appearances in several films, including his cousin's The Virgin Suicides.         
In recent years, Coppola, with his family, has expanded his business ventures to       
include winemaking in California's Napa Valley at the Rubicon Estate Winery in         
Rutherford, California. His company, Francis Ford Coppola Presents, owns a             
winery in Geyserville, Sonoma County, California. The company also produces a           
line of pastas and pasta sauces, and it owns several cafes and resorts.