Eleanor Coppola, Emmy-winning documentarian and wife of Francis Ford Coppola, dies at 87

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Married for 61 years, the Coppolas raised a filmmaking family, including Roman Coppola, Sofia Coppola, and the late Gian-Carlo Coppola.

Eleanor Coppola, the Emmy-winning documentarian, noted visual artist, and wife of acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola, with whom she raised a family of filmmakers, died Friday at her home in Rutherford, Calif. She was 87.

Representatives for the Coppola family confirmed the news to Entertainment Weekly and said in a statement that she was surrounded by loved ones in her final moments.

Born Eleanor Jessie Neil in Long Beach, Calif., Coppola grew up in Southern California and graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in applied design. She began a career as an assistant art director and met her future husband while working on his directorial debut, the 1962 horror flick Dementia 13. They were married for 61 years and had three children, all of whom went into the family business: actor and producer Gian-Carlo Coppola, who died in a boating accident in 1986; filmmaker Roman Coppola (CQ, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III); and filmmaker Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation).

Amy Graves/Getty Eleanor Coppola
Amy Graves/Getty Eleanor Coppola

A filmmaker in her own right, Eleanor Coppola was known for her behind-the-scenes documentaries about her family members' works, including the Emmy-winning 1991 doc Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, about the production of her husband's iconic film Apocalypse Now. She also directed documentaries about the making of daughter Sofia's Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette. As a feature director, she helmed the 2016 rom-com Paris Can Wait and the 2020 romantic anthology Love Is Love Is Love.

Coppola published two books, Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now and Notes on a Life, and her drawings, photos, and conceptual art pieces have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.

At the age of 87 she completed a third book, chronicling her recent life, and wrote in the manuscript, "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."

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.