The Italian producer was a key figure in his native country’s post-war cinema boom, but he also had US success.
Dino De Laurentiis, the producer behind some of Italy’s best known films, is reported to have died in Los Angeles aged 91 years old.
He is understood to have produced more than 500 films over his career, including with Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini. He also produced high profile US films including Serpico, starring Al Pacino, in 1973, Conan The Barbarian, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 1982, and Ridley Scott’s 2001 film Hannibal.
Born in Torre Annunziata near Naples, De Laurentiis went into the film industry at the age of 20 years old working in various jobs such as stagehand, assistant director and head of production. Giuseppe De Santis’ Riso Amaro, now a classic, was one of his first films as a producer. He also produced Jane Fonda-classic Barbarella in 1968, before he moved to the US in the 1970s.
He was nominated for an Oscar 38 times and won the award for Fellini’s La Strada in 1956. He was also awarded the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Awards at the Oscar for his services to high quality film production. On receiving the award, he said: “I’ve been very lucky in my long life. On three continents, in diverse cultures, through happy moments, not-so-happy moments, and moments as marvelous as this one, I’ve had the privilege of working with the cinema’s greatest masters.”
In 2003, he was honoured at the Venice Film Festival with a lifetime achievement award.