Born: 18 May 1897
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Best Known As: Director of It's a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra was Hollywood's leading director in the mid-1930s and '40s, winning three Oscars in just five years for It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take it With You (1938) and Meet John Doe (1941, with Barbara Stanwyck). His comedies usually involved the triumph of the decent common man over a corrupt system, and his leading actors included Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart. During World War II he made a series of documentaries for the U.S. Army, Why We Fight, but after the war his career waned. In 1973 the copyright to It's a Wonderful Life (1946) expired and wasn't renewed and the movie became a staple of the Christmas television season, renewing an appreciation for Capra's career.
Because of their sentimental nature, his films are sometimes referred to as "Capra-corn."
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