Giada De Laurentiis: Grandfather Dino 'Was a True Inspiration'

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Giada De Laurentiis is saddened over the death of her grandfather, famed filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis.

"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 Food Network star tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.

His daughter, Raffaella, confirms via a statement: "Dino De Laurentiis, patriarch of the De Laurentiis family, Academy Award-winning producer and film legend, died on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 10PM (PST) at his home in Beverly Hills, California surrounded by family.  He was 91."

Funeral arrangements have not yet been determined.

“Cinema has lost one of its greats," Rome Film Festival founder Walter Veltroni told the AFP. "The name of Dino De Laurentiis is tied to the history of cinema."

De Laurentiis was born to pasta-maker parents on Aug. 8, 1919 in Torre Annunziata, which is near Naples, but moved to the U.S. in the 1960s. He entered the film industry at age 20, and went on to produce more than 500 movies, including those by Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini. He was nominated for more than 35 Oscars, winning his first in 1956 for Fellini's "La Strada."

Fellow director and Turin Film festival artistic director Gianni Amelio said: “Dino De Laurentiis was probably the most important film producer Italy ever had, and he left his mark on two great nations, in Italy and the United States.”

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