Francesca Cappucci, who spent more than a decade as a popular entertainment and music reporter at KABC-TV in Los Angeles, has died. She was 64.
Cappucci died March 30 at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena after being diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic lung cancer in July, her older son, Ian Lyndon, told The Hollywood Reporter. She never smoked and “was an advocate for wellness and ran and exercised every day, that’s why [her illness] was such a shock,” he said.
Out of the blue, Quentin Tarantino named the glamorous Italian movie star wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton after her in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).
Cappucci and the filmmaker never met, Ian said, and she was “blown away” when she and his brother, Will, saw the movie on the big screen for the first time. (The character was played by Chilean actress Lorenza Izzo.)
Cappucci covered show business for the ABC-owned station from 1984-98 and interviewed “the biggest and the best in the music industry,” KABC entertainment reporter George Pennacchio said.
She also portrayed a reporter on episodes of such TV shows as The Colbys, Columbo, 7th Heaven, The Practice and Charmed and in the film Beverly Hills Ninja (1997).
A middle child, Francesca Maria Cappucci was born in Los Angeles on June 29, 1958. She graduated from San Marino High School and attended Loyola Marymount University for two years before beginning her journalism career.
She started out in the public affairs department at L.A. radio station KIQQ-FM (K-100), where she hosted a public affairs interview show, anchored newscasts and worked on a morning drive program alongside Jay Coffey.
At KABC, she interviewed the likes of Rod Stewart, David Bowie and Michael Jackson before leaving the station after Ian was born.
She produced and co-wrote with Ian (who also directed) a 2018 short film, Not Me, which starred future Netflix Outer Banks star Rudy Pankow and played at several film festivals.
In addition to her sons, survivors include her siblings, Rafael and Isabella; her ex-husband, Gordon Fordyce; and close friends Kim Kelly, Diana Browne and Meredith Brooks.