Legendary Italian Producer Dino de Laurentiis Passes Away at 91
In the film industry, there's always been this stigma that anyone can be a film producer. But when it comes to legendary Italian producer Dino de Laurentiis, there are few who measure up to his great stature and achievements. Sadly, The New York Times reports the producer died at his home in LA at 91 years old. He was surrounded by family when he passed early this morning, and he leaves behind a legacy in cinema that spans over 500 films and seven decades of hard work in motion pictures. The super producer worked with the finest filmmakers in history, some of which are already waiting for him in that movie theater in the sky.
As a producer de Laurentiis garnered himself not one, but two Academy Awards for producing two films from one of Italy's finest filmmakers, Federico Fellini. Both 1954's La Strada and 1957's Nights of Cabiria resulted in Oscar wins for Best Foreign Film. But aside from his fine work alongside his Italian colleagues, here in the States, de Laurentiis was also responsible for classics like Barbarella, Serpico and Three Days of the Condor. The producer also dabbled in adaptation with films like The Valachi Papers (about many infamous mobsters) and even the fiercely panned 1976 remake of King Kong with Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges.
Yes, as many hits that came de Larentiis' way, there were also flops. Though he worked with director David Lynch on Blue Velvet, a film largely considered to be Lynch's best film, the producer also was unfortunately apart of the director's flop in the 1984 adaptation of Dune. But de Laurentiis took all his success and mistakes in stride and continued on in his career, and there are still titles in development that will boast his name including the remake of Barbarella and a big screen adaptation of "MacGyver" that's in the works. Though he's left this world, he leaves behind a legacy that will last forever. Rest in peace, sir.