12 Nov 2010

Film producer Dino De Laurentiis dies

6:23 am on 12 November 2010

Oscar-winning Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis has died in Los Angeles at the age of 91.

De Laurentiis brought to the big screen nearly 500 films including Serpico, Three Days of the Condor and King Kong.

He produced several Italian classics in collaboration, including Federico Fellini's La Strada, for which he won an Oscar in 1957.

Dino de Laurentiis was born the son of a pasta manufacturer in Torre Annunziata in Campania, Italy in August 1919.

He enrolled in film school around 1936, supporting himself as an actor, extra, propman, or any other job he could get in the film industry.

His persistence paid off, and by the time he was 20, he had already produced one film.

After serving in the Italian army during World War II, De Laurentiis went back into film production, and scored a critical and commercial international hit with Riso Amaro (1949).

De Laurentiis eventually formed a partnership with producer Carlo Ponti, and the team had a string of hits, including several by director Federico Fellini, including La Strada (1954) and The Nights of Cabiria (1956) - both winners of best foreign film Oscars.

After moving to the US in the 1970s, he oversaw films such as Serpico, Death Wish, the 1976 remake of King Kong, Blue Velvet and the box office hit Hannibal.

He is survived by wife Martha, their two children and four children from his first marriage to actress Silvana Mangano.