Frank Capra

  • Celebrity
  • Birth Name: Francesco Rosario Capra
  • Birth Place: Bisacquino, Sicily, Italy
  • Died: September 3, 1991
  • Profession: Director, Producer, Writer
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Fast Facts

  • Emigrated from Italy to the U.S. with his family when he was 6.
  • Enlisted in the Army during World War I (where he taught mathematics), but was discharged after becoming ill during the 1918 Spanish-flu pandemic.
  • Made his professional directorial debut in 1922 with a one-reel adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling poem Fultah Fisher's Boarding House.
  • Helped establish the fledgling Columbia Pictures as a major player in the movie industry with a string of successful films.
  • It Happened One Night (1934) was the first movie to win all five major Academy Awards: best film, director (Capra), screenplay (Robert Riskin), actor (Clark Gable) and actress (Claudette Colbert).
  • Served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1935 to 1939.
  • An Army colonel during World War II, he made a series of documentaries for the government titled Why We Fight. The first,  Prelude to War, won a Best Documentary Oscar for 1942.
  • Formed the independent production company Liberty Films, which produced the seasonal classic It's a Wonderful Life, before eventually selling it to Paramount.
  • Released his autobiography, The Name Above the Title, in 1971.
  • Received the AFI's Life Achievement Award in 1982.

Awards

  • 1947, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1936, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Winner
  • 1938, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Winner
  • 1934, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Winner
  • 1939, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1946, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1982, Emmy — Outstanding Informational Special: Nominee
  • 1961, Directors Guild of America Awards — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: Nominee
  • 1982, Venice Film Festival — Lifetime Achievement: Winner
  • 1958, Directors Guild of America Awards — Lifetime Achievement in Feature Film: Winner
  • 1959, Directors Guild of America Awards — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film: Nominee
  • 1933, Oscar — Best Directing: Nominee

Relationships

  • Lucille Rayburn Warner Capra — Wife (deceased)
  • Rosaria Nicolosi Capra — Mother
  • Giuseppe Capra — Brother
  • Salvatore Capra — Father
  • Tony Capra — Brother
  • Antonia Capra — Sister
  • Giuseppa Capra — Sister
  • Helen Howell — Ex-wife
  • Ignazia Capra — Sister
  • Lucille Capra — Daughter
  • Thomas Capra — Son
  • Frank Capra Jr. — Son
  • Benedetto Capra — Brother

College

  • Throop College of Technology, Pasadena, California, United States (BS in Chemical Engineering, 1918)

Details

  • Birth Name: Francesco Rosario Capra
  • Birth Place: Bisacquino, Sicily, Italy
  • Died: September 3, 1991
  • Profession: Director, Producer, Writer

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