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BeyondGeography

(39,498 posts)
Fri Apr 12, 2024, 08:37 PM Apr 2024

Eleanor Coppola, matriarch of a filmmaking family, dies at 87


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Eleanor Coppola, who documented the making of some of her husband Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic films, including the infamously tortured production of “Apocalypse Now,” and who raised a family of filmmakers, has died. She was 87. Coppola died Friday surrounded by family at home in Rutherford, California, her family announced in a statement. No cause of death was given.

Eleanor, who grew up in Orange County, California, met Francis while working as an assistant art director on his directorial debut, the Roger Corman-produced 1963 horror film “Dementia 13.” (She had studied design at UCLA.) Within months of dating, Eleanor became pregnant and the couple were wed in Las Vegas in February 1963. Their first-born, Gian-Carlo, quickly became a regular presence in his father’s films, as did their subsequent children, Roman (born in 1965) and Sofia (born in 1971). After acting in their father’s films and growing up on sets, all would go into the movies.

…Gian-Carlo, who’s seen in the background of many of his father’s films and had begun doing second-unit photography, died at the age of 22 in a 1986 boating accident. He was killed while riding in a boat piloted by Griffin O’Neal, son of Ryan O’Neal, who was found guilty of negligence. Roman directed several movies of his own and regularly collaborates with Wes Anderson. He’s president of his father’s San Francisco-based film company, American Zoetrope. Sofia became one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of her generation as the writer-director of films including “Lost in Translation” and the 2023 release “Priscilla.” Sofia dedicated that film to her mother.

…Eleanor died just as Francis is preparing a long-planned, self-financed epic, “Metropolis,” which is to premiere next month at the Cannes Film Festival…Eleanor recently completed her third memoir, the family said. In the manuscript she wrote: “I appreciate how my unexpected life has stretched and pulled me in so many extraordinary ways and taken me in a multitude of directions beyond my wildest imaginings.”

https://apnews.com/article/eleanor-coppola-dead-d1174964d8fef8a1b63ced6a9387f62b
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