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Dino De Laurentiis (1919 -- 2010)

Born Augusto De Laurentiis on 8 August 1919, Dino de Laurentiis enrolled in film school when he was 17, supporting himself as an actor, extra, propman or any other role to get into the film industry. By the age of 20, he had already produced a film, and after serving in the Italian army during the Second World War he went back to production, making the critical and commercial hit, Riso Amaro (1949).

De Laurentiis later formed a partnership with producer Carlo Ponti, which led to a number of hits, including several by director, Federico Fellini. When the partnership dissolved, De Laurentiis sought to build his own studio complex, which he did, but due to complications in the Italian film industry at the time and a string of flops by De Laurentiis himself, he was forced to shut down. He then relocated his business to the United States and set up a production complex called DEG Studios in North Carolina. Once again he was forced to close down because of economic conditions, but fortunately during his time in the States, he had successes including Barbarella (1968), Ragtime (1981) and Hannibal (2001).

In 1949 Dino married the actress Silvana Mangano and had four children, one of whom, Rafaella, is also a film producer. In 1988, they divorced prior to her death a year later. In 1990, he married the producer Martha Schumacher and had two more children. Dino's death, aged 91, made headlines around the world.