Who died on this date:
On September 3, 1991, director Frank Capra died. The multi-talented award winning film director, producer and writer, Frank Rosario Capra was born on May 18, 1897 in Bisacquino, Sicily, Italy. He immigrated to the United States in 1903 at the age of five with his family. Capra is best known for directing the classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), starring Jimmy Stewart. The award winning director’s career in show business spanned nearly four decades from 1922 to 1977, in which he directed fifty three films. In the mid-1920’s, he worked for Hal Roach as a writer on numerous Our Gang serials, and was also employed by Mack Sennett’s studio. Harry Cohn the head of Columbia Studios saw that Capra had what it took to be a star director in Hollywood and gave him support in his early films. Capra was nominated for six best director Oscars, first in 1934 for Lady for a Day, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1940), and It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) and won three times, It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1935), and You Can’t Take It with You (1939). Other notable film credits include; Broadway Bill (1934), Lost Horizon (1937), Meet John Doe (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), and Pocket Full of Miracles (1961). He was a master at capturing on film the social ills of the era, and with humor was able to create powerful characters that came from humble surroundings that took on societies wrongs. His films appealed to the masses of the day and also stand the test of time today as beloved classics. Frank Capra died on September 3, 1991 from a heart attack at his home in La Quinta, California. Capra is buried in a non-descript grave at the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery in Coachella, California, block 77, lot 289, space 8.
His first credited appearance was in the one-reel short western/drama, The Fugitive (1913). He worked with D.W. Griffith on such famous films as The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916). At this time, he had a slim, athletic figure, a far cry from the portly build that would gain him fame later in his career. After gaining a substantial amount of weight, Pallette gained status as a recognizable character actor. In 1927, he signed as a regular for Hal Roach Studios and was a reliable comic foil in several early Laurel and Hardy movies. In later years, Pallette's weight may have topped out at 300 pounds.