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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Eleanor Coppola, wife of Francis Ford Coppola and the matriarch of a family of filmmakers, dies at 87


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.


"I don't know what the family has given except I hope they've set an example of a family encouraging each other in their creative process whatever it may be," Eleanor told The Associated Press in 2017. "It happens in our family that everyone chose to sort of follow in the family business. We weren't asking them to or expecting them to, but they did. At one point Sofia said, 'The nut does not fall far from the tree.'"

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