Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis dies at 91

November 12th, 2010 - 2:59 am ICT by BNO News  

LOS ANGELES (BNO NEWS) — Acclaimed Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis on Wednesday night died in his Los Angeles home. He was 91 years old.

De Laurentiis died on Wednesday night at his Beverly Hills residence, his daughter Rafaella De Laurentiis announced. The caused of his death was not released. He lived with his third wife, Martha.

The legendary Italian producer is survived by his six daughters: Veronica, Rafaella, Francesca, Carolyna and Dina as well as his only granddaughter Giada. Veronica‘s daughter. His only son, Federico, died in a plane crash in 1981.

He was known for helping resurrect the Italian film industry after World War II and for more than six decades produced films in Italy and Hollywood. He is remembered for producing film classics such as La Strada, Serpico, Three Days of Condor, Nights of Cabria and Death Wish.

His lengthy career comprised over 500 films and many Oscar Academy Awards. He also produced the catastrophic misses Flash Gordon, Orca and the 1976 remake of King Kong. He began his career as producer in Italy in the 1940s.

In the 1950s, he produced two Oscar-winning best foreign films: La Strada of Federico Fellini in 1956 and Nights of Cabria of the same director in 1957. He built his own studio complex on the outskirts of Rome that he called Dinocitta (Italian for Dino city).

He is also credited for pioneering the now-common practice of financing films by pre-selling the distribution rights in foreign countries. His studio produced films such as director Richard Fleischer’s “Barabbas,” starring Anthony Quinn; John Huston’s star-studded “The Bible”; and Roger Vadim’s “Barbarella,” starring Jane Fonda.

After closing his studio, De Laurentiis moved to the United States in the 1970s. He remained in Hollywood for the rest of his career, and life, and produced critically revered films. The most notable being 1973’2 Serpico, starring Al Pacino, and the Robert Redford spy thriller Three Days of the Condor.

He is also credited for producing 1974’s Death Wish with actor Charles Bronson; 1982’s Conan the barbarian with the new coming Arnold Schwarzenegger; 1984’s The Bounty featuring Anthony Hopkins and more recently the two Silence of the Lambs sequels, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising.

He was the son of a pasta maker and was born in Torre Annunziata, near Naples. He was one of seven children and dropped from school at 15. He later tried to become an actor but realized that he was better behind the camera as a producer.

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