Best Known For
Director, producer and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola is best known for creating The Godfather film series starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Francis Ford Coppola was born April 7, 1939, in Detroit, Michigan. He first found directorial success with Finian’s Rainbow in 1968. He gained international critical attention for his screenwriting talents, with 1970’s Patton. Two years later, he released The Godfather (1972). In 1997, he stepped away from directing for a time. In 2007, he returned to hands-on filmmaking with Youth Without Youth.
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
Director, producer, writer and businessman Francis Coppola was born on April 7, 1939, in Detroit, Michigan. Francis Ford Coppola emerged as one of the 20th century’s leading directors in the 1960s. Stricken with polio as a child, he was bedridden and found creative ways to entertain himself, including producing his own puppet shows. Coppola developed an interest in film early on and studied theater at Hofstra University in New York.
After graduating in 1960, Coppola moved to California to attend the prestigious film program at UCLA where he learned from many great instructors, including pioneering female director and screenwriter Dorothy Arzner. While in graduate school, he worked with B-movie king Roger Corman. It was Corman that gave him first shot of directing a feature film, 1963’s Dementia 13, which Coppola also wrote. While that film failed to take off, he found directorial success with the 1968 musical Finian’s Rainbow.
Coppola first gained international critical attention for his screenwriting talents, earning an Academy Award for 1970’s Patton. Two years later, he released what is considered to be one of his best works, The Godfather (1972). Based on a novel by Mario Puzo, the critically acclaimed saga centered on the Corleones, an Italian American family involved in organized crime. Marlon Brando played the family’s patriach and Al Pacino as his son and reluctant successor. Coppola received his first nomination as director from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He also scored second screenplay win, and the film won for Best Picture. The sequel, The Godfather Part II (1974) was equally well received.
Continuing to make outstanding films, Coppola produced the riveting Vietnam War drama Apocalypse Now in 1979. Starring Martin Sheen, the film was an imaginative retelling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. In the 1980s and 1990s, he made several films, ranging from personal drama surrounding a group of wayward teenagers in The Outsiders (1983) to glittering jazz age saga The Cotton Club (1984) to the faithful adaptation of the classic vampire tale Bram Stroker’s Dracula (1992). He also created the final chapter to his mafia trilogy, The Godfather Part III (1990).
After The Rainmaker (1997), Coppola stepped away from directing for a time. He focused much of his energies on other ventures, especially his California winery. Working behind the scenes, Coppola served as a producer on his daughter Sofia’s first directorial effort, 1999’s The Virgin Suicides.
profile name: Francis Ford Coppola profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Fathers 31 people in this group
Best Director Oscar Winners 49 people in this group
Best Screenplay Oscar Winners 34 people in this group