Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford CoppolaReuters

Francis Ford Coppola is one of the most iconic directors in the history of Hollywood. Part of the New Hollywood wave of film-making, Coppola has numerous awards and accolades to his credit in a career spanning five decades.

Born April 7, 1939, Coppola first gained popularity with the movie "The Rain People" (1969), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer, with Edmund H North.

Coppola received worldwide fame with "The Godfather" (1972), a movie that became one of the most iconic films of all time. He won numerous accolades and praise from critics and the public alike for the movie that earned three Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay (shared with author Mario Puzo, who wrote the original novel), Best Director and Best Picture.

His other notable movies include "The Conversation" (1974) and "Apocalypse Now" (1979), which was critically acclaimed for its depiction of the Vietnam War and won Coppola the Palme d'Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival.

As the iconic director celebrates his 77th birthday Thursday, here are some of the most memorable quotes by him:

"If you're a person who says yes most of the time, you'll find yourself in the hotel business and the restaurant business."

"I was always the black sheep of the family and always told that I was dumb, and I had a low IQ and did badly in school."

"You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you'll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost."

"When I was sixteen or seventeen, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a playwright. But everything I wrote, I thought, was weak. And I can remember falling asleep in tears because I had no talent the way I wanted to have."

"I think it's better to be overly ambitious and fail than to be under-ambitious and succeed in a mundane way. I have been very fortunate. I failed upward in my life."

Source: Brainy Quote