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Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 13:22 GMT
Movie studio boss Capra Jr dies
Actress Shirley MacLaine and Frank Capra Jr
Frank Capra Jr helped create teenage drama Dawson's Creek
Movie mogul Frank Capra Jr, whose father directed Christmas classic It's A Wonderful Life, has died aged 73.

The producer, who helped build a major television and film studio, passed away at a hospital in Philadelphia after a long fight with prostate cancer.

"He will be missed as a friend and a colleague," said Chris Cooney from North Carolina's Screen Gems Studios, of which Capra Jr was president.

Screen Gems' credits include 28 Days and A Walk to Remember.

"With his Hollywood pedigree and extensive experience as a producer, Frank was the perfect ambassador to Hollywood," added Cooney.

Capra Jr was also was at the helm when teen soap Dawson's Creek was filmed at the studio, launching Katie Holmes' career.

He worked alongside his father on the 1961 Bette Davis film Pocketful of Miracles and, for the last few years, has screened his family's personal print of It's A Wonderful Life at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.

Talking about his father's work on the film, he said: "He loved the idea of the story. He fell in love with that idea of the story about a man who could see the world the way it would have been had he never been born."

He added that Capra, who died in 1991, described It's a Wonderful Life as "the picture I was born to make".

Capra Jr's survivors include his wife Debra, daughter Christina, two sons - Frank and Jonathan - and a sister and brother.

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