Carmine Coppola

Carmine Coppola, 80, Oscar-winning composer, died April 26 in Los Angeles following a stroke.

He was the father of director Francis Coppola, actress Talia Shire and August Coppola, dean of the creative arts school at San Francisco State U. and chairman of the San Francisco Film Commission, and grandfather of actor Nicolas Cage (August’s son).

The composer won an Academy Award in 1974 (with Nino Rota) for best original score for his son’s “The Godfather, Part II.”

He had a best-song nomination last year for “Promise Me You’ll Remember” from “The Godfather Part III.”

Born in Manhattan, Coppola studied at the Juilliard School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music and played first flute in several city symphonies before joining the prestigious NBC Symphony Orchestra led by Arturo Toscanini in 1951. At about the same time, he conducted for such Broadway musicals as “Kismet” and “Once Upon A Mattress.”

Encouraged by Francis to try Hollywood, the father started in films by scoring B pictures for Roger Corman, moving up to his first major score in 1968 for “Finian’s Rainbow,” which Francis directed.

Others films that he scored for Francis include “Apocalypse Now,” “The Outsiders” and “Gardens Of Stone,” as well as “The Black Stallion,” of which Francis was executive producer.

Carmine Coppola also scored director Peter Masterson’s 1986 feature “Blood Red.”

He also worked with Francis in 1981 on the score for the restored version of Abel Gance’s French silent film “Napoleon” and conducted the orchestra at showings of the film around the world.

Also survived by his wife, Italia, seven other grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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