Barbara Kopple Biography

Barbara Kopple photo

Born: July 30, 1946


Date of Birth: July 30, 1946

Raised in Scarsdale, New York, Kopple graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in psychology. Armed with experience in filming clinical studies, she began her career assisting documentary filmmakers as an editor, sound recordist and camera operator. She made her directorial debut with a documentary about unionized miners struggling against wage cuts in Harlan County, Kentucky. The film, Harlan County, U.S.A., won an Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary.

She won a second Academy Award, again for Best Feature Length Documentary, for American Dream (1991), in addition to her first Directors Guild Award.

Stepping over into television, she won two more Directors Guild Awards: in 1994 for Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson and in 1998 for an episode of the popular drama series Homicide: Life on the Street.

Since then, she has directed Bearing Witness (2005), a documentary about female journalists working in combat zones; Havoc (2005), a drama about the Latino gang culture in Los Angeles starring Anne Hathaway; and Shut Up and Sing (2006), about the controversial country singing group The Dixie Chicks.


The Edge of Madness (2007)
Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing (2006)
Havoc (2005)
Bearing Witness (2005)
My Generation (2000)
A Conversation with Gregory Peck (1999)
Woodstock '94 (1998) Wild Man Blues (1998)
American Dream (1990)
Keeping On (1981)
Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976)

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