Frank Capra Jr. dies at 73


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Frank Capra Jr., the son of "It's A Wonderful Life" director Frank Capra who followed his father into the movie business and help build the largest television and movie studio on the East Coast, has died. He was 73.

Capra Jr. died Wednesday night at a hospital in Philadelphia, said Bill Vassar, the executive vp of Wilmington, N.C,-based EUE/Screen Gems Studios, of which Capra was president.

Under Capra Jr.'s leadership, EUE/Screen Gems' credits include several major motion pictures, including "28 Days," "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," "Domestic Disturbance," "Black Knight" and "A Walk to Remember."

He also was at the helm when "Dawson's Creek" -- starring a then-unknown Katie Holmes -- filmed at the studios, and he kept all nine of the studio's sound stages full in recent years between movies and the filming of another successful teenage soap, "One Tree Hill."

"He brings a certain cachet to the studio that would not be there and wasn't there before he came," said Bill Arnold, the former director of the N.C. Film Office, said in an interview earlier this year. "When Frank came on, I think it assumed a larger profile just because of Frank's name."