Frank Capra Jr. was an American movie studio executive and the son of legendary film director Frank Capra. Capra did not start out to be a filmmaker, and he studied geology and directed several technical films that documented government research programs, and army films centered on the construction of torpedoes and helicopters. He enlisted in the army's film unit, the Signal Corps, and taught combat motion picture photography to soldiers stationed in New Jersey and while serving in Vietnam. Capra worked as an assistant director on a number of TV shows including Gunsmoke (1955), Zane Grey Theater (1956), Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958), Dennis the Menace (1959), The Rifleman (1960) and Hazel (1961), before working for his father on the comedy Pocketful of Miracles (1961).
He joined forces with the legendary showman Arthur P. Jacobs at APJAC Productions around 1970, replacing Mort Abrahams as Jacobs' right-hand man. He served as associate producer on Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam (1972), Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972), Tom Sawyer (1973) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973), but Jacobs' refusal to credit him onscreen as anything other than “associate producer” led to an acrimonious split. As with Abrahams before him, in today's parlance Capra would simply have shared the producer credit with Jacobs, but the disagreement must have been shortly before Jacobs' death in June 1973, as Battle.. was his last completed film.
Capra subsequently worked as an independent producer in Hollywood, producing feature films Born Again (1978), The Black Marble (1980) and An Eye for an Eye (1981), and had a spell as head of Avco Embassy Pictures. In 1983 Capra was sent to Wilmington, North Carolina, by producer Dino De Laurentiis to find a location for the Stephen King feature film Firestarter (1984), and returned in 1996 to become President and CEO of EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, one of the largest US studios outside California. He was among the cast and crew interviewed for the 1998 documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes. Capra passed away in 2007 after a long battle with prostate cancer.
- Frank Capra Jr. article at Wikipedia
- Frank Capra Jr. biography page at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)