|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)|
September 17, 1963|
Los Angeles, California, USA.
|Died||May 26, 1986
Annapolis, Maryland, USA
|Partner(s)||Jacqui de la Fontaine (engaged)|
Gian-Carlo Coppola (September 17, 1963 – May 26, 1986) was an American film producer.
Coppola was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of set decorator/artist Eleanor Coppola (née Neil) and famed film director Francis Ford Coppola. As the eldest Coppola sibling, he was older brother to Roman and Sofia.
Like his brother and sister, Gian-Carlo—known to his family and friends as Gio—often featured in his father's movies as background characters (The Godfather, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now Redux and Rumble Fish), later acting as associate producer for Rumble Fish and The Outsiders, and second unit director on The Cotton Club.
In The Godfather, he appeared with his brother Roman as the two sons of Robert Duvall's Tom Hagen character, and they can be seen during the streetfight and Vito Corleone's funeral right behind Duvall and Al Pacino.
Coppola was killed in a speedboating accident in May 1986 at the age of 22 in Annapolis, Maryland. Griffin O'Neal, who was piloting the boat, had attempted to pass between two slow-moving boats, unaware that both boats were connected by a towline. While O'Neal barely had time to duck, Coppola was struck and killed. At the time of the incident, O'Neal was being directed by Francis Ford Coppola in Gardens of Stone and was subsequently replaced. O'Neal was later charged with manslaughter over the accident. He ultimately pled guilty to the lesser charge of "negligent operation of a boat", was fined $200 and sentenced to 18 months probation in 1987. He eventually received an 18-day jail sentence for not performing 400 hours of community service as ordered.
At the time of his death, Coppola's fiancee, Jacqui de la Fontaine, was two months pregnant with their only daughter, Gian-Carla "Gia" Coppola (born on January 1, 1987). Gia was featured in the October 2011 issue of American Elle magazine as a "fledgling director."
Francis Ford Coppola subsequently dedicated 1988's Tucker: The Man and His Dream to Gio's memory due to his love of cars and for unwittingly inspiring the elder Coppola to revive the production of the long-gestating film and finishing it.
- Tatum O'Neal, A Paper Life, 0-060-75102-9 p. 158