Martha Coolidge

Active - 1974 - 2019  |   Born - Aug 17, 1946   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance

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Biography by AllMovie

After studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and N.Y.U., filmmaker Martha Coolidge worked in Canadian television while making short films and documentaries. In 1975, she wrote, directed, and produced her first feature film, Not a Pretty Picture, focusing on the issue of high school date rape. It wasn't until 1983 that she would find her niche in comedies with the teen classic Valley Girl, starring a young Nicolas Cage. She stayed with teen movies for her next three projects: National Lampoon's Joy of Sex, Real Genius, and Plain Clothes. For the rest of the '80s, Coolidge directed several TV shows (including a few episodes of The Twilight Zone) and made-for-TV movies before making a comeback in 1991 with the coming-of-age drama Rambling Rose, winning her Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards. In 1992, she made the TNT movie Crazy in Love, featuring an all-star cast with Holly Hunter, Gena Rowlands, and Frances McDormand. She stayed with comedy dramas for her next two efforts: Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers and Angie, starring Geena Davis. The rest of the '90s she made several little-seen features, including the Jack Lemmon/ Walter Matthau comedy Out to Sea. Her television work was more successful, with an Emmy nomination for her biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and a Director's Guild award for a segment of the anthology If These Walls Could Talk 2 (the other segments were directed by Jane Anderson and Anne Heche). A longtime associate of the DGA, Coolidge became the group's first woman president in 2002. The next year, she made the romantic drama Aurora Island, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Kim Basinger. In 2004 Coolidge release The Prince & Me, a romance starring Julia Stiles as a young woman who falls in love with a royal. Two years later Coolidge directed the Duff sisters, Hilary and Haylie as spoiled sisters who lose their fortune, in Material Girls.

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