Agostino "Dino" De Laurentiis (Italian: [ˈdiːno de lauˈrɛnti.is]; 8 August 1919 – 10 November 2010) was an Italian-American film producer. Along with Carlo Ponti, he was one of the producers who brought Italian cinema to the international scene at the end of World War II. He produced or co-produced more than 500 films, of which 38 were nominated for Academy Awards. He also had a brief acting career in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Dino De Laurentiis
Agostino De Laurentiis
8 August 1919
|Died||10 November 2010 (aged 91)|
|Resting place||Cimitero Comunale Torre Annunziata|
|Children||6, including Veronica and Raffaella|
De Laurentiis was born at Torre Annunziata in the province of Naples, and grew up selling spaghetti made by his father's pasta factory. He started his studies at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome in the years 1937–1938 then interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War.
Following his first film, L'ultimo Combattimento (1940), De Laurentiis 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 Italian neorealist films such as Bitter Rice (1949) and the early Fellini works La Strada (1954) and Nights of Cabiria (1956), often in collaboration with producer Carlo Ponti. In the 1960s, 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; The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966), 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 (1972), released prior to its originally scheduled date in order to capitalize on the popularity of The Godfather.
De Laurentiis relocated to the US in 1976, and became an American citizen in 1986. In the 1980s he had his own studio, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG), based in Wilmington, North Carolina. The building of the studio made Wilmington a center of film and television production. In 1990, De Laurentiis obtained backing from an Italian friend and formed another company, Dino De Laurentiis Communications in Beverly Hills.
De Laurentiis made a number of successful and/or 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), Blue Velvet (1986) and Breakdown (1997). De Laurentiis' name became well known through the 1976 King Kong remake, which was a commercial hit; Lipstick (1976), a rape and revenge drama; Orca (1977), a killer whale film; The White Buffalo (1977), a western; the disaster movie Hurricane (1979); the remake of Flash Gordon (1980); David Lynch's Dune (1984); and King Kong Lives (1986). De Laurentiis also produced several adaptations of Stephen King works, including The Dead Zone (1983), Cat's Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985), and Maximum Overdrive (1986). De Laurentiis's company was involved with the horror sequels Halloween II (1981), Evil Dead II (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992).
De Laurentiis also produced the first Hannibal Lecter film, Manhunter (1986), an adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon. He passed on adapting the novels' sequel, The Silence of the Lambs (1991), but produced the two follow-ups, Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), a re-adaptation of the novel. He also produced the prequel Hannibal Rising (2007), which tells the story of how Hannibal becomes a serial killer.
DDL Foodshow was an Italian specialty foods store with the three locations, two in New York City and one in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. They were opened in the early 1980s and owned and operated by De Laurentiis.
The first store was opened in the restored palm court in the ornate lobby of the Endicott Hotel on Manhattan's Upper West Side in close proximity to the older establishment, Zabar's food emporium on Broadway. The first NYC store opened in November 1982, and it was reported that the store "opened to crowds of 30,000 over the Thanksgiving weekend, when de Laurentiis himself greeted customers at the door." The store's assistant manager said that "it was like the premiere of a movie."
Food critic Gael Greene wrote a scathing review on the opening in New York. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune a month later, she admitted that the store was "probably the most stunningly handsome grocery in the world, certainly in New York," but "the pricing was insane. They hadn't paid enough attention to the competition." She reported that she'd talked to De Laurentiis: "Dino's reaction was that I'm full of it. And we're meeting over a bowl of pasta to discuss it." A review in The San Francisco Examiner said that it was "worth a peek and a purchase."
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. De Laurentiis and Mangano divorced in 1988; she died in 1989. In 1990, he married Martha Schumacher, who produced many of his films beginning in 1985, and 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. He was the younger brother of Luigi De Laurentiis, who became a film producer after Dino did, and uncle of Aurelio De Laurentiis, also a producer and the chairman of S.S.C. Napoli football club.
Awards and recognitionsEdit
- "Dino De Laurentiis". Telegraph.co.uk. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- Lane, John Francis (11 November 2010). "Obituary: Dino De Laurentiis". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- Delugach, Al (20 February 1988). "De Laurentiis Resigns From Film Group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- "Laurentiis has others looking our way". Wilmington Morning Star. 9 July 1984. p. 1C. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
- Kalogerakis, George (February 2002). "Let's Do Lunch". Foodandwine.com. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
- Greene, Gael, "Dino's Food Show", New York Magazine, 20 December 1982. Cf. p.82.
- Mink, Claudia Gellman (7 March 1983). "Food's the Star In New De Laurentiis Show". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. D1. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Daniels, Mary (16 January 1983). "Are discriminating New Yorkers going to buy this deli with a difference?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Alexander, Dick (4 September 1983). "DDL isn't your run-of-the-meal delicatessen". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- Sifton, Sam, "Eataly Offers Italy by the Ounce", The New York Times, 19 October 2010
- Sheraton, Mimi, "DDL FOODSHOW: A TASTER FINDS IT'S GOOD, AND NOT SO GOOD", The New York Times, 4 May 1983, WednesdayLate City Final Edition, Section C, Page 1, Column 1
- Arnold, Laurence (11 November 2010). "Dino De Laurentiis, Producer of Film Spectacles, Dies at 91". Business Week. Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- "Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis dies". The Globe and Mail. Reuters. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- "Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award". 17 July 2014.
- "Filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis Dies at Age 91". USA Today. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- "Movie Producer Dino de Laurentiis dies". CNN. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- Mondello, Bob (11 November 2010). "Dino De Laurentiis: For Decades, A Big-Picture Guy". NPR. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- "Funeral services for De Laurentiis will be held Monday". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. 13 November 2010. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
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