Martha De Laurentiis, an American film and TV producer and wife of Dino De Laurentiis, died early in the morning of December 4 after a long battle with cancer.
“My mother was both a warm, generous, optimistic soul – my father always referred to her as his ‘sunshine’ – and a fierce protector,” her daughter Dina De Laurentiis told Deadline today. “A treasured wife, mother, and grandmother, and a friend who touched so many, as well as a nurturer – and protector – of creative people on the movies and television she loved. She put family first, but got up every morning passionate about building upon my father’s legacy and continuing to forge her own. Her kindness, intelligence and grace will continue to inspire us.”
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Due to Covid-19 concerns, there will be small, private memorial service in the near future.
The expansive producing resume of Martha De Laurentiis (credited as Martha Schumacher until 1995) includes such films as Breakdown, U-571, Hannibal, Red Dragon Hannibal Rising with her late husband, and the 2013 TV series adaptation Hannibal, developed and executive produced by Bryan Fuller.
“I met Martha DeLaurentiis 10 years ago,” Fuller said in a statement to Deadline. “She welcomed me into her home, and fed me perfectly cooked pasta overwhelmed with white truffles as I professed to her my love for Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal psychiatrist. I’m writing now to profess my love and deep admiration for Martha, the canny producer. Through decades of on-the-ground, in-the-trenches filmmaking, she evolved a signature style. Smart, tasteful, elegant, respectful and present. Always positive and always pulled together. She read every draft of every script, was on set every opportunity. She was the most glamorous cheerleader anyone could ask for. Martha supported the storytellers with all her might, every artist, every craftsperson. She treated us all like family. Martha DeLaurentiis has been and always will be The Matriarch.”
In 1980, Martha and Dino De Laurentiis, who passed away in 2010, founded the Dino De Laurentiis production company, on which she served as chairman.
Martha De Laurentiis’ recent producing credits include the 2018 feature Arctic. Fittingly, her last movie is the upcoming Firestarter, a reboot of De Laurentiis’ very first movie as a producer, the 1984 big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.
With her husband Dino, whom she married in 1990, Martha De Laurentiis had two daughters, Carolyna and Dina. As well, Martha De Laurentiis is survived by her parents Walter and Mary Schumacher, her brothers Walter Schumacher, Jr. and Rod Schumacher, and her partner of the last 10 years, Randy Sherman.
Dominic Patten contributed to this report
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