Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis died on Wednesday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 91.
Mr. De Laurentiis produced more than 500 films over six decades covering a wide range of styles and genres. His long filmography includes several major titles of the early Italian New Wave, including the “Bitter Rice” (1949); two important films by Fellini (“La Strada,” 1954, and “Nights of Cabiria,” 1957); and David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet,” (1986).
The Oscar-winning “Serpico,” in 1973 with Al Pacino, was De Laurentiis’ Hollywood debut followed by Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish,” Robert Redford’s “Three Days on the Condor” and John Wayne’s last film, “The Shootist,”
Paolo Baratta, head of the Venice Film Festival, which gave De Laurentiis a lifetime achievement award in 2003, called De Laurentiis “one of the most important producers in the history of film worldwide,” and said that film has lost “one of its great protagonists.” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 2001.