Dino De Laurentiis, 1919-2010: Kong Reacts
Dino De Laurentiis, one of the last of the cigar-chomping movie moguls, died last Thursday at his Beverly Hills home, his daughter and fellow film producer Raffaella De Laurentiis has confirmed. He was 91.
Colorful, bold and tough, De Laurentiis produced over 500 motion pictures that spanned the works of Italian masters Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini to, beginning in the 1960's, a cornucopia of highbrow and lowbrow Hollywood-based sagas, among them Serpico, The Bible: In the Beginning...., The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, the 1980 adaptation of Flash Gordon, the radically insane Dune, the original Death Wish, Blue Velvet, Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Maximum Overdrive, Million Dollar Mystery --- and the ever-maligned yet still somehow entertaining 1976 remake of King Kong.
"My grandfather was a true inspiration. He was my biggest champion in life, and a constant source for wisdom and advice. I will miss him dearly," Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, 40, told the Hollywood Reporter in a statement.
Besides Raffaella and Giada, Dino leaves behind his wife and partner, the former Martha Schumacher, their daughters Carolyna and Dina; and their sisters, Veronica and Francesca, whose mother, De Laurentiis' first wife, actress Silvana Mangano, died in 1989. Also surviving are Dino's own three sisters, Anna, Raffaella Cimino and Rose; four other grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Federico De Laurentiis, the sole son in the family, who had co-executive produced the 1976 King Kong, died in a plane crash in 1981.
The celebrated giant ape issued the following statement from his home on the mysterious Skull Island:
Me Kong. Famous big ape. Heard of passing of Dino De Laurentiis. Dino make my 1976 movie. Dino ruined Kong's reputation. Never got to crush Dino. Damn! Jessica Lange hated every moment she was in Kong's fist. So what? Kong not even understand why Dino had to make a third movie. He called it King Kong Lives! He make it in North Carolina. Wanted me to have kids! He no leave Kong alone. Well, Kong home here on Skull Island, with only one good memory of Hollywood. Me already talk about Fay Wray; you know how Kong miss her. Go home for now. Kong need time to think things over. Kong no miss Dino. Never forgive him for what he did to Kong. Kong no care about Hollywood Walk of Fame; that fans love Kong today is enough. Now go home!