About Agostino De Laurentiis
Agostino "Dino" De Laurentiis (8 August 1919 – 10 November 2010) was an Italian film producer best known for producing science fiction, fantasy, and horror films.
He was born at Torre Annunziata in the province of Naples, and grew up selling spaghetti produced by his father. His studies at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War.
Following his first movie, L'ultimo Combattimento, (1940) he produced nearly 150 films during the next seven decades. In 1946 his company, the Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica, moved into production. In the early years, De Laurentiis produced neorealist films such as Bitter Rice (1946) and the Fellini classics La Strada (1954) and Nights of Cabiria (1956), often in collaboration with producer Carlo Ponti. In the 1960s, Dino De Laurentiis built his own studio facilities, although these financially collapsed during the 1970s. During this period, though, De Laurentiis produced such films as Barabbas (1961) a Christian religious epic, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, an imitation James Bond film; Navajo Joe (1966), a spaghetti western; Anzio (1968), a World War II film; Barbarella (1968) and Danger: Diabolik (1968), both successful comic book adaptations; and The Valachi Papers made to coincide with the popularity of The Godfather.
In 1976, De Laurentiis relocated to the USA where he set up studios, eventually creating his own studio De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) based in Wilmington, North Carolina; the building of the studio quickly made Wilmington a busy center of film and television production. During this period De Laurentiis made a number of successful and acclaimed films, including The Scientific Cardplayer (1972), Serpico (1973), Death Wish (1974), Mandingo (1975), Three Days of the Condor (1975), The Shootist (1976), Drum (1976), Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg (1977), Ragtime (1981), Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Blue Velvet (1986). It is for his more infamous productions that De Laurentiis's name has become known — the legendary King Kong (1976) remake, which was a commercial hit, Lipstick, the killer whale film Orca (1977); The White Buffalo (1977); the disaster movie Hurricane (1979); the remake of Flash Gordon (1980); Halloween II (the 1981 sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 classic horror film); David Lynch's Dune (1984); and King Kong Lives (1986). De Laurentiis also made several adaptations of Stephen King's works during this time, including The Dead Zone (1983), Cat's Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985) and Maximum Overdrive (1986); Army of Darkness (1992) was produced jointly by De Laurentiis, Robert Tapert and the movie's star Bruce Campbell. They distributed the animated Transformers movie.
De Laurentiis also produced the first Hannibal Lecter film, Manhunter (1986). He passed on adapting Thomas Harris' sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, but produced the two follow-ups, Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), a remake of Manhunter. He also produced Hannibal Rising (2007), which tells the story of how Hannibal becomes a serial killer.
In his later choice of stories he displayed a strong preference for adaptations of successful books, especially sweeping classics like Barabbas (1961), The Bible: In the Beginning (1966), or Dune (1984).
In the 1980s he owned and operated DDL Foodshow, a specialty retailer with two gourmet Italian markets in New York City and Los Angeles.
In 2001 he received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
De Laurentiis died on 10 November 2010 at his residence in Beverly Hills.
He received the America Award of the Italy-USA Foundation in 2012 (in memory)
His brief first marriage in Italy was annulled. In 1949, De Laurentiis married actress Silvana Mangano, with whom he had four children: Veronica; Raffaella, who is also a film producer; Federico, another producer who died in a plane crash in 1981 (Dino's movie Dune is dedicated to him); and Francesca. They divorced in 1988 prior to her death in 1989. In 1990 he married movie producer Martha Schumacher, with whom he had two daughters, Carolyna and Dina. One of his grandchildren is Giada De Laurentiis, host of Everyday Italian, Behind the Bash, Giada at Home and Giada's Weekend Getaways on Food Network. His nephew is Aurelio De Laurentiis, also a film producer and the chairman of SSC Napoli football club.
Dino De Laurentiis's Timeline
August 18, 1919
Torre Annunziata, Campania, Italy
February 28, 1955
November 10, 2010
Beverly Hills, CA, USA