CBSN

Dino De Laurentiis, Oscar-Winning Producer and Grandfather of Food Network Star, Dies

Dino De Laurentiis at the "Hannibal Rising" photocall on Feb. 2007 in Rome. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
TIZIANA FABI
Dino De Laurentiis at the "Hannibal Rising" photocall on Feb. 2007 in Rome. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBS) Dino De Laurentiis, a famed Italian Oscar-winning producer, has died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

According to Agence France-Presse news service, Italian media reported the news Thursday.

De Laurentiis, who is the grandfather of Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, produced more than 500 films throughout his entire career. He won an Oscar in 1956 for Fedrico Fellini's "La Strada," and another in 1957 for "Nights of Cabiria," which starred Giulietta Masina.

"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," the younger De Laurentiis said in a statement obatined by the Hollywood Reporter.

At the 2001 Oscars, he received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for demonstrating "a consistently high quality of motion picture production."

He also won a lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival in 2003.

"Cinema has lost one of its greats," said Walter Veltroni, an Italian lawmaker and former mayor of Rome who founded the Rome Film Festival, according to the AFP.

De Laurentiis was born in Torree Annuziata near Naples to pasta-maker parents on Aug. 8, 1919. He moved to the U.S. in the late 1960s.

He began his career in film at age 20 and later went on to work with actors Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Audrey Hepburn, among others.

Other film credits include, "Riso Amaro" (1949), "Barbarella" (1968) with Jane Fonda, "Serpico" (1973), "Dune," (1984), and David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" (1986).