Italia Coppola, mother of Francis Ford Coppola, and grandmother of Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola, died Jan. 20 of natural causes in Los Angeles. She was 91.
Born in New York City, she was one of six children of composer Francesco Pennino and Anna Giaquinto Pennino, both of Naples, Italy. Her father was a composer of Italian songs, an importer of Italian films and a movie theater owner: She was born in an apartment over the family’s Empire Theater in Brooklyn.
She married flutist and Academy Award-winning composer Carmine Coppola; he died in 1991. They had three children, professor August, Francis, and thesp Talia Rose Coppola Shire Schwartzman.
Known to her family and friends as “Mammarella,” she appeared in Francis’ films “The Godfather, Part II” and “One From the Heart.” She was known for her fine Italian cooking and published a cookbook, “Mama Coppola’s Pasta Book.”
Survivors include her three children; grandchildren Marc Coppola, a thesp/disc jockey; director Christopher Coppola; thesp Cage, director Roman Coppola; writer-director Sofia Coppola; Matthew Shire; thesp-musicians Jason Schwartzman and Robert Schwartzman; and four great-grandchildren.