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Eleanor Coppola, artist and matriarch of filmmaking dynasty, dead at 87

By Dan Heching, CNN

(CNN) — Eleanor Coppola, award-winning film documentarian, artist, writer and wife of Francis Ford Coppola, has died. She was 87.

The news was confirmed by Francis Ford Coppola’s representative Nesma Youssef, who said in an email Eleanor Coppola was “surrounded by her loving family” at home in Rutherford, California, at the time of her death on Friday.

Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola were married for 61 years, with Eleanor accompanying her husband on many of his film shoots throughout his illustrious career.

In 1992, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for her documentary “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” about the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 war epic “Apocalypse Now.” She made several other documentaries about her family’s films and, according to an obituary sent by Youssef, was most recently editing a documentary about the making of her daughter Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film “Marie Antoinette.”

Eleanor Coppola was a feature filmmaker in her own right, making her directorial debut at the age of 80 in 2016 with the Diane Lane-starring romance “Paris Can Wait.” She also wrote the movie, which followed the wife of a successful movie producer as she makes her way across France with a driver.

Her second feature, 2020’s “Love is Love is Love,” was selected to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Deauville American Film Festival in France.

In addition to her pursuits in filmmaking, Eleanor Coppola was an accomplished artist and writer.

Along with her husband, she was at the helm of one of the most prolific and successful filmmaking families in Hollywood. Her children Roman Coppola (writer and producer on several Wes Anderson films) and Sofia Coppola (“The Virgin Suicides,” “Lost in Translation”) are both successful filmmakers. Nicolas Cage, Talia Shire and Jason Schwartzman are part of the extended Coppola family.

Shortly before her death, Eleanor Coppola completed her third book, a memoir. 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.”

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