Martha Patterson Coolidge
August 17, 1946
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||Rhode Island School of Design, NYU Tisch School of the Arts|
|Occupation||Film director, film editor, film producer, screenwriter, television director|
|Spouse(s)||Michael Backes (divorced)|
Coolidge studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, but changed majors, becoming the first film major at the school. She earned her MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Later in Los Angeles, she studied acting and other aspects of her craft with Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Joanne Baron, and David Craig.
Coolidge first made her reputation by directing many award-winning documentaries in New York City. While in New York, she helped found the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and the IFP.
She moved to Hollywood in 1976 and spent several years as a part of the Zoetrope Studio created by Francis Ford Coppola. Her feature-length directorial debut, Not a Pretty Picture, was based on a date rape she suffered at age 16. Her breakthrough film was the independently produced Valley Girl (1983), which is best remembered for launching the career of Nicolas Cage. It also helped the popularity of the British band Modern English's hit song "I Melt with You". Her film Rambling Rose (1991) won three IFP Independent Spirit Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Diane Ladd, and earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Ladd and Laura Dern (Best Actress). Rambling Rose was well reviewed and made many top 10 lists for the year. Despite a limited release hampered by economic problems suffered by the production company, the film played for months without advertising and earned many honors.
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) for HBO was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards, winning five, including Best Actress for its star Halle Berry, and earned Coolidge an Emmy and DGA (Directors Guild of America) nominations for Best Director.
From 2002 to 2003 she was the Directors Guild of America's first female president.
- Online Film & Television Association ~ Best Director: Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
- Independent Spirit Award ~ Best Director : Rambling Rose
- Independent Spirit Award ~ Best Feature : Rambling Rose
- DGA Award ~ Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award
- Paris Film Festival ~ Grand Prix Award : Real Genius
- Chicago Film Critics Association Award Nomination ~ Best Director: Rambling Rose
- Chicago International Film Festival ~ Best Short Film: Bimbo
- Chicago International Film Festival ~ Best Short Film: More Than a School
- LA Femme International Film Festival ~ Maverick Award
- Method Fest ~ Forerunner Award
- Women in Film ~ Crystal Award
- Emmy Award Nomination ~ Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
- DGA Award Nomination ~ Best Director for An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong
- DGA Award Nomination ~ Best Director for If These Walls Could Talk 2
- DGA Award Nomination ~ Best Director for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
- CableACE Nomination ~ Best Director for Crazy in Love
- Not a Pretty Picture (1976)
- Valley Girl (1983)
- City Girl (1984)
- Joy of Sex (1984)
- Real Genius (1985)
- Sledge Hammer! (1986) (TV) (pilot)
- The Twilight Zone (1986) (TV) ("Night of the Meek") ("Quarantine") (" Shelter Skelter")
- Plain Clothes (1988)
- Trenchcoat in Paradise (1989) (TV movie)
- Bare Essentials (1991) (TV movie)
- Rambling Rose (1991)
- Lost in Yonkers (1993)
- Angie (1994)
- Three Wishes (1995)
- Out to Sea (1997)
- Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (TV movie)
- If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) (TV movie) ("1972")
- Leap Years (2001) (TV movie and pilot)
- Sex and the City (2002) (TV) ("A Vogue Idea") ("I Heart New York")
- Hidden Hills (2003) (TV) ("The Concert")
- Masterpiece Theatre ("The Ponder Heart") (2003) (TV movie)
- The Prince and Me (2004)
- Huff (2005) (TV) ("All the Kings Horses")
- Material Girls (2006)
- Related (2006) (TV) ("Not Without My Daughter")
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2006) (TV) ("Living Legend") ("Redrum") ("Take my life Please") ("Fracked") ("Maid Man")
- Shark (2007) (TV) ("Porn Free")
- Weeds (2007) (TV) ("Shit Highway")
- Psych (2007) (TV) ("Truer Lies")
- An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong (2009)
- Cult (2013) (TV) ("The Good Fight")
- The Glades (2013) (TV) ("Glade-iators!")
- Killer Women (2014) (TV) ("Warrior")
- The Night Shift (2014) (TV) ("Blood Brothers")
- Madam Secretary (2014) (TV) ("Passage")
- Angie Tribeca (2016) (TV) ("The Famous Ventriloquist Did It ")
- Siren (2018) (TV) ("Showdown")
- Music, War and Love (2018)
- "Martha Coolidge - Member, 1983-Present". www.dga.org. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
- Martha Coolidge profile on shemadeit.com Archived 2014-02-02 at the Wayback Machine
- "Faculty Profile". www.chapman.edu. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
- "World War 2: The Setting for Two of our Faculty's Vastly Different Projects". chapman.edu. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
- Weinraub, Bernard. "From Valley Girls To Sunshine Boys, A Deal on 'Yonkers'". New York Times.
- "Martha Coolidge - Faculty Profile". Chapman University.
- "Music, War and Love". 1 May 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018 – via www.imdb.com.
- Maddaus, Gene (15 February 2017). "Director Martha Coolidge, Producer Wage Bitter Fight for Control of Holocaust Drama". variety.com. Retrieved 1 May 2018.