Dino De Laurentiis
De Laurentiis in September 2009
Agostino De Laurentiis

(1919-08-08)8 August 1919
Died10 November 2010(2010-11-10) (aged 91)
Resting placeTorre Annunziata, Italy
  • Italy
  • United States
  • Film producer
  • businessman
Years active1938–2010
  • (m. 1949; div. 1988)
  • (m. 1990)
Children6, including Veronica, Raffaella, and Federico

Agostino "Dino" De Laurentiis (Italian: [ˈdiːno de lauˈrɛnti.is]; 8 August 1919 – 10 November 2010) was an Italian film producer and businessman who held both Italian and American citizenship. Following a brief acting career in the late 1930s and early 1940s, he moved into film production; alongside Carlo Ponti, he brought Italian cinema to the international scene in the post-World War II period. He produced or co-produced over 500 films, with 38 of his Hollywood films receiving Academy Award nominations. He was also the creator and operator of DDL Foodshow, a chain of Italian specialty foods stores.

Early life

Agostino De Laurentiis was born in Torre Annunziata, which was then in the Kingdom of Italy, on 8 August 1919. He grew up selling spaghetti made by his father's pasta factory. His older brother, Luigi De Laurentiis (1917–1992), later followed him into film production. He studied at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in 1937 and 1938, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.[1]


Film production

De Laurentiis produced his first film, L'ultimo Combattimento, in 1941. His company, the Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica, moved into film production in 1946. 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, De Laurentiis built his own studio facilities. He 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 before its originally scheduled date in order to capitalize on the popularity of The Godfather.[citation needed]

In 1973, De Laurentiis relocated his headquarters to New York and he was reportedly considering to produce an American television series.[2] His studio financially collapsed during the 1970s.[citation needed] In the 1980s, he had his own studio: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) based in Wilmington, North Carolina. The studio made Wilmington an unexpected center of film and television production.[3] In 1990, he obtained backing from an Italian friend and formed another company: Dino De Laurentiis Communications in Beverly Hills.

De Laurentiis produced a number of successful 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 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' 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),[citation needed] 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

DDL Foodshow was an Italian specialty foods store with three locations: two in New York City and one in Beverly Hills. They were opened in the mid-1980s, and were owned and operated by De Laurentiis.[4]

The first store was opened in the restored palm court in the ornate lobby of the historical Endicott Hotel now a co-op on Manhattan's Upper West Side in close proximity to the older establishment, Zabar's food emporium on Broadway.[5] 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".[6]

Food critic Gael Greene wrote a scathing review on the opening in New York.[5] 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."[7] A review in The San Francisco Examiner said that it was "worth a peek and a purchase".[8][9]

DDL Foodshow was later considered to be a forebear of the new Italian specialty goods food-store restaurant dining attraction Eataly.[10]

Personal life

De Laurentiis' brief first marriage in Italy was annulled.[11]

In 1949, De Laurentiis married Italian-British actress Silvana Mangano, with whom he had four children: Veronica, an author and actress; Raffaella, a fellow film producer; Federico, also a film producer who died in a plane crash in 1981; and Francesca. His granddaughter through Veronica is chef Giada De Laurentiis, while his nephew through his brother Luigi is fellow film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis. He and Mangano divorced in 1988,[12] and she died of lung cancer the following year.

Having lived in the U.S. since 1976,[13] De Laurentiis became an American citizen in 1986.[14]

In 1990, De Laurentiis married American producer Martha Schumacher, who had produced many of his films since 1985. They had two daughters named Carolyna and Dina and remained married until his death in 2010. Schumacher died of cancer in 2021.


On 10 November 2010, at the age of 91, De Laurentiis died at his home in Beverly Hills, California.[15][16][17][18]

Awards and recognitions

In 1958, De Laurentiis won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film for producing La Strada. It was the only time where individuals could win the award instead of the country it was made in and in the case of the first Foreign Film Oscar, he and his fellow producer won the Academy Award, as opposed to the director of the film Federico Fellini.

In 2001, De Laurentiis received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[19]

In 2012, De Laurentiis posthumously received the America Award of the Italy–USA Foundation.[citation needed]


Films produced

Year Title Director Notes
1946 Black Eagle Riccardo Freda
The Bandit Alberto Lattuada
1947 The Captain's Daughter Mario Camerini
Bullet for Stefano Duilio Coletti
1948 Bitter Rice Giuseppe De Santis
The Street Has Many Dreams Mario Camerini
1949 The Wolf of the Sila Duilio Coletti
1951 Anna Alberto Lattuada
1952 Europe '51 Roberto Rossellini
Lieutenant Giorgio Raffaello Matarazzo
Toto in Color Steno
1953 Funniest Show on Earth Mario Mattoli
The Unfaithfuls Mario Monicelli
Man, Beast and Virtue Steno
1954 La Strada Federico Fellini
Attila Pietro Francisci
Woman of Rome Luigi Zampa
The Gold of Naples Vittorio De Sica
Poverty and Nobility Mario Mattoli
Where Is Freedom? Roberto Rossellini
A Slice of Life Alessandro Blasetti, Paul Paviot
An American in Rome Steno
1955 Ulysses Mario Camerini
The River Girl Mario Soldati
Mambo Robert Rossen
The Miller's Beautiful Wife Mario Camerini
1956 War and Peace King Vidor
Nights of Cabiria Federico Fellini
1958 This Angry Age René Clément
Tempest Alberto Lattuada
1959 The Great War Mario Monicelli
1960 Everybody Go Home Luigi Comencini
Five Branded Women Martin Ritt
Under Ten Flags Duilio Coletti
Crimen Mario Camerini
The Hunchback of Rome Carlo Lizzani
1961 The Last Judgment Vittorio De Sica
A Difficult Life Dino Risi
The Fascist Luciano Salce
The Best of Enemies Guy Hamilton
Black City Duilio Coletti
1962 Mafioso Alberto Lattuada
The Italian Brigands Mario Camerini
1963 Il Boom Vittorio De Sica
The Verona Trial Carlo Lizzani
1964 My Wife Luigi Comencini, Mauro Bolognini, Tinto Brass
1965 Battle of the Bulge [citation needed] Ken Annakin Uncredited
1966 The Bible: In the Beginning John Huston
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die Henry Levin
Navajo Joe Sergio Corbucci
The Hills Run Red Carlo Lizzani
1967 The Stranger Luchino Visconti
Matchless Alberto Lattuada
The Witches Luchino Visconti, Mauro Bolognini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, Vittorio De Sica
1968 Danger: Diabolik Mario Bava
Barbarella Roger Vadim
Anzio Edward Dmytryk, Duilio Coletti
Bandits in Milan Carlo Lizzani
Caprice Italian Style Mauro Bolognini, Mario Monicelli, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Steno
1969 Fräulein Doktor Alberto Lattuada
Brief Season Renato Castellani
The Bandit Carlo Lizzani
1970 A Man Called Sledge Vic Morrow
Waterloo Sergei Bondarchuk
The Deserter Burt Kennedy
1972 The Valachi Papers Terence Young
The Assassin of Rome Damiano Damiani
The Most Wonderful Evening of My Life Ettore Scola
1973 Serpico Sidney Lumet
Chino John Sturges
Mean Frank and Crazy Tony Michele Lupo
1974 Death Wish Michael Winner
Two Missionaries Franco Rossi
Crazy Joe Carlo Lizzani
Three Tough Guys Duccio Tessari
1975 Mandingo Richard Fleischer
1976 King Kong John Guillermin
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson Robert Altman
Drum Steve Carver
The Serpent's Egg Ingmar Bergman
The Shootist Don Siegel
1977 Orca Michael Anderson
1978 The Brink's Job William Friedkin
King of the Gypsies Frank Pierson
1979 Hurricane Jan Troell
1980 Flash Gordon Mike Hodges
1981 Beyond the Reef Frank C. Clarke
Halloween II Rick Rosenthal
Ragtime Miloš Forman
1982 Fighting Back Lewis Teague
Conan the Barbarian John Milius
Amityville II: The Possession Damiano Damiani
Halloween III: Season of the Witch Tommy Lee Wallace
1983 Amityville 3-D Richard Fleischer
Dead Zone David Cronenberg
1984 The Bounty Roger Donaldson
Firestarter Mark L. Lester
Conan the Destroyer Richard Fleischer
Dune David Lynch
1985 Maximum Overdrive Stephen King
Marie Roger Donaldson
Silver Bullet Daniel Attias
Cat's Eye Lewis Teague
Year of the Dragon Michael Cimino
Red Sonja Richard Fleischer
1986 Crimes of the Heart Bruce Beresford
Raw Deal John Irvin
Blue Velvet David Lynch
Trick or Treat Charles Martin Smith
Tai-Pan Daryl Duke
Manhunter Michael Mann
King Kong Lives John Guillermin
1987 Million Dollar Mystery Richard Fleischer
Hiding Out Bob Giraldi
Evil Dead II Sam Raimi
The Bedroom Window Curtis Hanson
From the Hip Bob Clark
1989 Collision Course Lewis Teague
1990 Sometimes They Come Back Tom McLoughlin
Desperate Hours Michael Cimino
1992 Once Upon a Crime Eugene Levy
Kuffs Bruce A. Evans
Army of Darkness Sam Raimi
Body of Evidence Uli Edel
1995 Solomon & Sheba Robert Young
Slave of Dreams
Rumpelstiltskin Mark Jones
Assassins Richard Donner
1996 Unforgettable John Dahl
Bound The Wachowskis
1997 Breakdown Jonathan Mostow
2000 U-571
2001 Hannibal Ridley Scott
2002 Red Dragon Brett Ratner
2006 The Last Legion Doug Lefler
2007 Hannibal Rising Peter Webber
Virgin Territory David Leland


  1. ^ "Dino De Laurentiis". Telegraph.co.uk. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  2. ^ Brady, James (24 December 1973). "Dino De Laurentiis: Movie Mogul Italian Style Moves to New York". New York Magazine: 62.
  3. ^ "Laurentiis has others looking our way". Wilmington Morning Star. 9 July 1984. p. 1C. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  4. ^ Kalogerakis, George (February 2002). "Let's Do Lunch". Foodandwine.com. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  5. ^ a b Greene, Gael, "Dino's Food Show", New York Magazine, 20 December 1982. Cf. p.82.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Daniels, Mary (16 January 1983). "Are discriminating New Yorkers going to buy this deli with a difference?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  8. ^ Alexander, Dick (4 September 1983). "DDL isn't your run-of-the-meal delicatessen". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  9. ^ Sifton, Sam, "Eataly Offers Italy by the Ounce", The New York Times, 19 October 2010
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis dies". The Globe and Mail. Reuters. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  13. ^ Lane, John Francis (11 November 2010). "Obituary: Dino De Laurentiis". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  14. ^ Delugach, Al (20 February 1988). "De Laurentiis Resigns From Film Group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis Dies at Age 91". USA Today. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Movie Producer Dino de Laurentiis dies". CNN. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  17. ^ Mondello, Bob (11 November 2010). "Dino De Laurentiis: For Decades, A Big-Picture Guy". NPR. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  18. ^ "Funeral services for De Laurentiis will be held Monday". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. 13 November 2010. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award". 17 July 2014.