August 22, 1926 - March 24, 2001
Franca Capanni, born in Florence, Italy was 74 when she died Saturday March 24, 2001 of cancer. Franca passed peacefully at her home in West Hollywood which she shared with her loving dog Tina. She is survived by her sister Anna, brother Silvano, Julliano and Roberto, her son Mark, daughter-in-law Mary and her grandchildren Michael and Mac. Her son Paul passed away in 2008.
Franca came to the United States as a war bride at the end of WWII, Her husband, Tom S. Hatsukano, was a Japanese American soldier. His Battalion, number 442, was one of the most decorated during the war and helped liberate Italy in 1945. After the war, the couple were transferred to numerous bases including Port Townsend, Washington and a base in Germany. When the couple returned to Seattle, Washington, Franca made a fresh start on life by moving herself and two sons to Los Angeles in 1956.
Franca’s energy and determination rewarded her. She was generous, loving and sincere. She loved life, people and animals. The compassion and guidance she offered to neighbors and friends, earned her the nickname “Mama”. She was Mama to everyone.
Franca worked very hard at everything she did. She was tireless. As a mother, she provided for her sons and family while working as a waitress at several Italian restaurants. She learned from this experience and over time became successful at her pursuits in West Hollywood. And in 1993, she and her son Marco opened a Trattoria on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Mama will be truly missed. We will remember her for her charismatic beauty and kindness and for her love of those around her. She will forever remain in our hearts.
In 1997, Mama was cast in the French electronica duo, Daft Funk's video "Revolution 909". The video was directed by Roman Coppola. You can see this entire video and 4 other videos (all with director's commentary) on the DVD released in 1999. You can buy the DVD at
Click on the video below to view Mama's starring role in the Daft Punk video (See Mama starting at 1:37 into the video)