Hollywood legend Dino De Laurentiis has died in Los Angeles at the age of 91. The producer of two Hugo nominees, Flash Gordon and Dune, was once described by the LA Times as “a master showman, the last survivor of a bygone era of swashbuckling Hollywood producers … who made movies fueled by grandiose schemes and consummate salesmanship.”
He began his career as a producer in Italy in the 1940s. In the following decade produced two Oscar-winning best foreign films, both directed by Fellini, La Strada and Nights of Cabiria. He moved to the United States and made another Academy Award winner, Serpico (1973).
De Laurentiis had a hand in the production of many genre films, including Barbarella, the 1976 remake of King Kong and two Conan movies. Although the uneven quality of his output earned him an ambivalent reputation among sf fans, let us remember – Frank Herbert liked the movie he made of Dune.