The Heartbreaking Death Of Giada De Laurentiis' Brother, Dino

Most fans know Giada De Laurentiis for her bubbly personality and top-notch Italian cooking skills. The Food Network star has been coming into viewer's living rooms since 2003 (per IMDb),  and she has had many successful shows, including Giada's Weekend Getaway, Everyday Italian, Giada in Paradise, and Giada at Home. In addition to her TV success, De Laurentiis has also authored several cookbooks and opened two restaurants in Las Vegas, per Caesars Palace. The mother of one has introduced viewers to a few family members, including her daughter, Jade Thompson, and her aunt, Raffaella De Laurentiis, who she lovingly calls "Raffy." It's no secret Giada counts family members as those closest to her. The star also had two very important "Dino De Laurentiis" in her life, and one of them was her grandfather.

According to his IMDb profile, Giada's grandfather was a famous movie producer who produced several popular films, including Nights of Cabiria, La Strada, and Flash Gordon. The other essential Dino in Giada's life was her younger brother. The two shared a very close bond, and the Food Network personality regularly talks about their relationship in interviews. "When something great happened in my life, when something bad happened — I would talk to him 2-3 times per day," she told People in May 2018. In fact, the two were so close that they even lived next door to one another in adulthood. Tragically, Giada lost Dino in 2003. Keep scrolling to find more about the tragic story.

Inside the life of Giada De Laurentiis' brother, Dino De Laurentiis

Like his sister Giada De Laurentiis and grandfather of the same name, Dino De Laurentiis enjoyed a successful life in the spotlight. According to his obituary by Variety, Dino was born in Rome, Italy. His talents eventually landed him in the United States (Los Angeles, specifically), where he began as an apprentice editor in 1990. Dino later served as an assistant to the head of production at Cinergi Pictures, where he worked for four years. The multi-talented film guru was both a photographer and a post-production supervisor for Dragonheart: A New Beginning.

Dino also worked on several other films in his short life, including Uprising, The World Tomorrow, and Black Dog, where he was an assistant to aunt Raffaella De Laurentiis. At the time of his passing, Dino was married to Talley De Laurentiis. According to IMDb, Talley also worked in film in the art department and, since Dino's death, she has worked on some big film sets, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Passengers, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Dino was one of four siblings, including sisters Giada De Laurentiis and Eloisa De Laurentiis (who works as a makeup artist). He also had a brother, Igor De Laurentiis, who is an actor. Tragically, Dino was only 31 years old at the time of his passing.

Giada De Laurentiis' brother Dino died from cancer

Like millions of others every year, Giada De Laurentiis' brother, Dino De Laurentiis, died following a short battle with cancer. According to Women's Health, Dino never regularly checked his skin for any unusual spots. When Dino was on a film set in Slovakia, however, one of his co-workers noticed a mole on his back that would not stop bleeding. At age 29, he reluctantly went to a hospital in Vienna to get the spot checked out. According to Giada, "Honestly he only went because he couldn't keep the bleeding from going all over his clothes." 

Dino immediately went into surgery, and doctors sadly diagnosed him with advanced melanoma. Cancer eventually spread to other vital organs, and when Dino was 31 years old, he died of liver failure in 2003. The death had a profound effect on the celebrity chef, prompting her to raise awareness for skin cancer. She has worked with Stand Up 2 Cancer, the Melanoma Research Alliance, and the "Protect Your Skin" campaign in the years since Dino's death. Giada's partnerships were an effort to urge people to protect their skin and perhaps even save their own life. "If you see any changes in your moles, go to the doctor and get it checked out," Giada shared in the PSA (via Women's Health). "You can protect yourself from skin cancer, and you can survive if you get it."

Dino De Laurentiis' death made Giada De Laurentiis afraid to have children

Giada De Laurentiis is now the proud mother of her only child, Jade Thompson (whom she shares with ex-husband Todd Thompson), but she did not always want to have children. After the passing of her brother, Dino De Laurentiis, Giada made a habit of pushing people away, she told Redbook in 2009 (via Delish). According to the star, right after her brother died, she did not want to have kids because she was fearful of losing them in the same way that she lost her brother. Since Dino's death was such a painful thing to go through, the thought of something similar happening to her potential future child really haunted the celebrity chef. "So for a while, I was very down on the whole idea. I thought, I don't want to have any more relationships," she shared. "I don't want to have anybody that close to me."

A few years later, she changed her tuned after imagining the regret that she might have felt if she had not given motherhood a go. "I stopped thinking of just my own mortality; I started thinking about the life we're leaving for someone else," she stated. Now, she has a gorgeous daughter to show for it.

Dino De Laurentiis' death had a lasting impact on Giada De Laurentiis

There's not a day that goes by that Giada De Laurentiis does not think about her beloved brother, Dino De Laurentiis. Dino inspired Giada's current outlook on life, which is very go-go-go. In 2018, the famed chef told People that she has a tough time with "down-time" because she simply wants to make the most of every second. This is a lesson that she learned after her brother died at such a young age. Giada explained that she feels like she's wasting time if she's not using it to be productive. "Thirteen years ago my brother, who was two years younger than me and who I was very close to, died of cancer," she dished at the time. "I realized that life is fleeting and it can be taken away at any time."

The celebrity chef noted that having such a limited time on Planet Earth makes her strive to get as much done as possible. "As sad as that might sound, it's the truth," she shared. Giada uses the same outlook on spending quality time with her daughter, Jade Thomspon, and said that she now regularly turns down work obligations because she realized that her time with Jade is also limited, especially following her divorce. 

Now, Giada pays tribute to her little brother by visiting a memorial bench that overlooks the ocean near her California home. Fittingly, it's a place that she and Gino used to visit together.