Agostino De Laurentiis, usually credited as Dino De Laurentiis, (born August 8, 1919) is an Italian movie producer born at Torre Annunziata in the province of Naples. He grew up selling spaghetti produced by his father. A study at the school of cinematography in Rome was interrupted by the Second World War.
Since his first movie, L'ultimo Combattimento, (1940) he has produced nearly 150 movies to date. In the early years De Laurentiis produced neoclassical art films as Bitter Rice (1946) and the Fellini classics La Strada (1954) Nights of Cabiria (1956), often in collaboration with producer Carlo Ponti. In the 1960s, Dino De Laurentiis built his own studio facilities, although these financially collapsed during the 1970s. During this time though, De Laurentiis produced such films as Barbarella (1968) and Danger: Diabolik (1968), both successful comic book adaptations, and The Valachi Papers (1972).
In the 1970s, De Laurentiis relocated to the USA where he set up studios, eventually creating his own studio De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) based in Wilmington, North Carolina; the building of the studio quickly made Wilmington one of the busiest centers of American film and television production. During this period de Laurentiis made a number of successful and acclaimed films, including Serpico (1973), Death Wish (1974), Mandingo (1975), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg (1977), Ragtime (1981), and Conan the Barbarian (1982). It is for his more infamous productions that de Laurentiis's name has become known - the legendary King Kong (1976) remake, which was a commercial hit, as well the killer whale film Orca (1977); The White Buffalo (1977); the disaster movie Hurricane (1979); the remake of Flash Gordon (1980); Halloween II (the 1981 sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 classic horror film); David Lynch's Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986); and King Kong Lives (1986). De Laurentiis also made several adaptations of Stephen King's works during this time, including The Dead Zone (1983), Cat's Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985) and Maximum Overdrive (1986).
During this time De Laurentiis also produced the original Hannibal Lecter film Manhunter (1986). He passed on adapting Thomas Harris's sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, but produced the two follow-ups, Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), a remake of Manhunter. He also produced Hannibal Rising (2007), which tells the story of how Hannibal becomes a serial killer.
In his later choice of stories he displayed a strong preference for adaptations of successful books, especially sweeping classics like the Bible, Barabbas (1961), or Dune (1984).
He has four children with his first wife, actress Silvana Mangano, who died in 1989. Today he is married to the movie producer Martha Schumacher and they have two daughters. One of the children from his first marriage, Raffaella De Laurentiis, is also a producer. His granddaughter is Giada De Laurentiis, host of Everyday Italian, Behind the Bash, and Giada's Weekend Getaways on Food Network.
In 2001 he received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.