Francis Ford "Frank" Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award-winning American film director, producer and screenwriter. Away from showbusiness, Coppola is also a vintner, magazine publisher and hotelier. He is a graduate of Hofstra University where he studied theatre. He earned an M.F.A. in film directing from the UCLA Film School. He is most renowned for directing the highly regarded Godfather films, The Conversation, and the Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now.
Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking. He was training as assistant with filmmaker Roger Corman, working in such capacities as soundman, dialogue director, associate producer and, eventually, director of Dementia 13 (1963), Coppola's first feature film. During the next four years, Coppola was involved in a variety of script collaborations, including writing an adaptation of This Property is Condemned, by Tennessee Williams (with Fred Coe and Edith Sommer), and screenplays for Is Paris Burning?, and Patton, the film for which Coppola won a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. In 1966, Coppola's 2nd film brought him critical acclaim and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1969, Coppola and George Lucas established American Zoetrope, an independent film production company based in San Francisco. The company's first project was THX 1138 (1971), produced by Coppola and directed by Lucas. Coppola also produced the second film that Lucas directed, American Graffiti (1973), in 1973. This movie got five Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
In 1971, Coppola's film The Godfather (1972) became one of the highest-grossing movies in history and brought him an Oscar for writing the screenplay with Mario Puzo The film was a Best Picture Academy Award-winner, and also brought Coppola a Best Director Oscar nomination. Following his work on the screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), Coppola's next film was The Conversation (1974), which was honored with the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and brought Coppola Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscar nominations. Also released that year, The Godfather: Part II (1974). rivaled the success of The Godfather (1972), and won six Academy Awards, bringing Coppola Oscars as a producer, director and writer. Coppola then began work on his most ambitious film, Apocalypse Now (1979), a Vietnam War epic that was inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1993) (TV). Released in 1979, the acclaimed film won a Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and two Academy Awards . Also that year, Coppola executive produced the hit The Black Stallion (1979). With George Lucas, Coppola executive produced Kagemusha, directed by Akira Kurosawa, and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, directed by Paul Schrader, and based on the life and writings of Yukio Mishima. Coppola also executive produced such films as The Escape Artist (1982), Hammett (1982) The Black Stallion Returns (1983), Barfly (1987), Wind (1992), The Secret Garden (1993) etc.