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Raffaella De Laurentiis

Raffaella De Laurentiis

Raffaella De Laurentiis, the daughter of legendary filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis and the highly acclaimed Italian actress Silvana Mangano, grew up surrounded by the film business. Knowing early on that she wanted to be a producer, her father hired her at 15 as an assistant in props and set dressing on one of his films. He knew that if she was serious about her career aspirations, she must understand the function of each position on a film set. From there she rose rapidly, working on Luchino Visconti's Ludwig, a period tale of a mad Bavarian king that starred her mother, Helmut Bergher, and Romy Schneider, as well as Hurricane, her father's epic film that involved building massive sets and accommodations in Tahiti. The intensive production experience led to her next film Beyond The Reef, filmed also in Tahiti utilizing the same sets and new hotel and marked her first credit as a producer. In 1981, De Laurentiis produced the highly successful Conan the Barbarian for Universal, which launched the acting career of Arnold Schwarzenegger and four years later, made the sequel, Conan the Destroyer. Other credits for the talented producer include David Lynch's Dune, shot in Mexico City, and Tai-Pan, the first American film to be made in China. Following that, she spent 18 months as head of production at the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. During that period, De Laurentiis supervised numerous films for D.E.G., such as Weeds, Crimes of the Heart, Hiding Out, Earth Girls Are Easy and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Eager to get back to hands-on production work, De Laurentiis formed Raffaella Productions in 1987, producing Prancer, Time Bomb and Trading Mom with Sissy Spacek and Anna Chlumsky.

When she made Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story in 1993, it marked the beginning of her association with director Rob Cohen and has led to their continued collaboration on Dragonheart with Dennis Quaid and Daylight with Sylvester Stallone, for which she served as executive producer. Among her other executive producer credits are Ron Howard's Backdraft and several movies for television, including the action-packed Vanishing Son series. In 1997, De Laurentiis produced Kull the Conqueror, which marked the feature film debut of director John Nicolella and star Kevin Sorbo. Filmed in Slovakia and Croatia, this marked De Laurentiis' second production in Eastern Europe. She then remained in the United States for her next two projects, first The Guardian, a television pilot directed by Rob Cohen for Universal/NBC, on which she was executive producer, followed by the action film, Black Dog, directed by Kevin Hooks and starring Patrick Swayze.

De Laurentiis returned to Slovakia in 1999, producing Dragonheart: A New Beginning, a direct-to-video sequel to Dragonheart, directed by Doug Lefler, and again in 2001 to executive produce the NBC miniseries, Uprising, (with Jon Avnet), starring LeeLee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight and Donald Sutherland.

Also in 2001, she returned to her love of family fare and executive produced Prancer Returns, a direct-to-video sequel to her holiday film, Prancer, directed by Joshua Butler and starring John Corbett, Stacy Edwards and Jack Palance.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Raffaella De Laurentiis Facts

BirthdayJune 28, 1954 (69)

Selected Filmography

Trading Mom
Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
Conan the Destroyer
Kull the Conqueror
Conan the Barbarian
Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow
Ron Howard Signature Collection
Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse
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