Frank Capra Earned His Wings

When I was a college or graduate student, I once attended a conservative conference where one of the professors strongly criticized the film director Frank Capra for being too left-wing. I have always felt guilty that I did not have the courage to speak up in defense of my favorite director. Capra’s political views were not what mattered most about him. With good humor grace, and resilience, Capra saw the best within us.

(p. A19) Virginia Patton Moss, the last surviving adult member of the cast of Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” who, three years after that film was released, left Hollywood to find her own wonderful life raising a family in Ann Arbor, Mich., died on Aug. 18 [2022] in Albany, Ga. She was 97.

. . .

When reminiscing about “It’s a Wonderful Life,” she spoke extensively about Mr. Capra and his message, delivered through the life of George Bailey, about the impact a single person’s life can have on his community.

“Capra knew we were coming out of a war, we were in terrible shape and there needed to be some type of stimulus,” she told the St. Nicholas Institute. She then rang a bell, which, in the film, signified that an angel had gotten its wings.

She added, “Go get ’em, Capra.”

For the full obituary see:

Richard Sandomir. “Virginia Patton Moss, 97, the Last Surviving Adult Cast Member of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.” The New York Times (Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022): A19.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the obituary was updated Sept. 1, 2022, and has the title “Virginia Patton Moss, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Actress, Dies at 97.”)

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