Frank Capra

Frank Capra

Although most of his films were written by individuals on the political left who tended to exude the spirit of the New Deal, Capra himself was a lifelong conservative Republican who never voted for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, admired Francisco Franco and Benito Mussolini and later, during the McCarthy "Red Scare era. served as a secret FBI informer for his friend J. Edgar Hoover.

Awarded American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. [1982]

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 96-98. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 96-103. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.

Capra heavily influenced friend, Producer/Director Thomas R. Bond II, where Bond gained most of his knowledge in directing and producing.

Capra was once a gag man for the Keystone Film Company (best known for its Keystone Kops shorts).

Claimed that Frank Sinatra had the potential to be the best actor there ever was. He once told Frank to quit his musical career and concentrate solely on acting and that if he did he would go down as the greatest actor who ever lived.

Claimed that both Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Sinatra "left their best scenes in rehearsal," saying that all subsequent takes got stale quickly. Capra would often shoot scenes with them without any rehearsing at all. This used to drive the other actors nuts. Edward G. Robinson once stormed off the set of A Hole in the Head (1959) and asked to be let out of his contract because he was used to rehearsing all his roles.

Critics dubbed his movies as "Capra-corn" for their simple and sappy storylines.

Directed 10 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: May Robson, Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper, H.B. Warner, Spring Byington, James Stewart, Claude Rains, Harry Carey and Peter Falk. Gable and Colbert won Academy Awards for their roles in It Happened One Night (1934).

Emigrated to America with his parents in 1903. They settled in Los Angeles, where his older brother was already living.

Father of Frank Capra Jr. (born March 20th 1934 - died December 19th 2007)), Tom Capra (born February 12th 1941), Lulu Capra (born September 16th 1937) and John Capra (born April 12th 1935 - died August 23rd 1938). Family lived in Fallbrook, California, USA.

Had a son, Johnny, who died in 1938, at about age 3, of complications arising from a tonsillectomy.

He got his first film assignment by answering an ad in a Los Angeles newspaper.

He was a staunch opponent of abortion and donated funds to support the Human Life Amendment.

He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1986 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, DC.

Head of jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1958.

His father, Turiddu, died in a horrible factory accident in 1915. When the aging man was working some gears, he got caught in the gears and was nearly ripped in half.

Hosted the Academy Awards in 1936 and 1939.

Inspired the adjective "Capraesque".