2004 Professional Achievement Award
Philip C. Capice ’52
Millions of Americans know Philip C. Capice ’52, even though most never have really met the man. Such is the power of television; such is the reach across generations of one of the medium’s most influential and productive minds.
After graduating from Dickinson with a bachelor’s degree in English, Capice earned an MFA in dramatic arts from Columbia University. He had planned to work in theater. Instead, he joined the television production department of New York advertising firm Benton & Bowles, where he worked on two soap operas the agency had created: As the World Turns and Edge of Night. In 1964, Capice became Benton & Bowles’ vice president for program development and was involved in creating CBS hits The Andy Griffith Showand Gomer Pyle, USMC.
Five years later, at a time when CBS was the king of prime-time TV ratings, Capice became the network’s director of special programs. He developed a variety of shows at CBS, including the Charlie Brown and Dr. Seuss animated features; high-profile musical programs starring Barbra Streisand, Leonard Bernstein, Vladimir Horowitz and Frank Sinatra; National Geographic specials; and dramatic programs such as The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, which was the basis for the weekly series The Waltons.
In 1974, Lorimar Productions invited Capice to become senior vice president for creative affairs and during the next dozen years, he developed and produced scores of TV pilots, series, movies and miniseries. Among Capice’s prize-winning productions were Sybil, for which he earned an Emmy and a Peabody Award in 1977; Green Eyes, which won a Peabody and the Humanitas Prize in 1978; Some Kind of Miracle, which garnered the Christopher Award in 1978; and prime-time ratings giant Dallas, for which he won eight People’s Choice Awards. He also produced The Pride of Miss Jane Pittman as well as Knots Landing, Falcon Crest, Eight is Enough and other popular shows.
Capice became president of Lorimar in 1978, but continued to embrace his creative drive. He opted to return to production, structuring an agreement with Lorimar that allowed him to produce programs through his independent company, Raven’s Claw Productions (named after the Dickinson honorary society of which he was a member). In 1986, Capice retired to his home in the Hollywood Hills, where he lives today.
Capice has been a member of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors. He joined the Dickinson board of advisors in 1978. In 1990 he was named to the college’s board of trustees, on which he continues to serve as an emeritus member.
As a student, Capice was an active member of Dickinson clubs and honorary societies. In addition to his work as a founding member of the student theatre group, The Mermaid Players, Capice was president and soloist in the college choir; news editor of The Dickinsonian, the student newspaper; president of Alpha Psi Omega, an honorary dramatic society; vice president of Pi Delta Epsilon, an honorary journalism society; a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, an academic honorary society; and a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
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