The large and lovably energetic actor of stage, screen, and television — Dom DeLuise has passed away at the age of 75. He died quietly in his sleep after a long battle with illness.
The very best thing about Dom DeLuise is that he was completely generational. He first showed up in the ’50s and by the ’60s, he was often a guest on Dean Martin’s legendary variety show and roasts. The ’70s saw his perfect chemistry with Mel Brooks’ style of movies skyrocket as he appeared in Blazing Saddles and Silent Movie — he also appeared in The Muppet Movie that decade. The ’80s were epic for Mr. DeLuise. He continued on his torrent pace of appearing in great movies and comedies like Smokey and the Bandit II, both Cannonball Run movies, History of the World: Part 1, Haunted Honeymoon, and Spaceballs. He also really shined as the perfect voice for animated feature films with work on The Secret of NIMH, An American Tale, Oliver & Company, and All Dogs Go to Heaven. Since then he has appeared in many, many more things including multiple American Tale sequels and a great cameo in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. He even offered his voice along with Burt Reynolds for a Cannonball Run skit on Robot Chicken not too long ago.
As incredible as all his work in movies has been, that was only a small part of what Dom DeLuise was. He made just as many memorable appearances on television and on the Broadway stage. He even became a great cook and authored a couple of cook books.
Being a child of the ’80s, I remember being able to recognize Dom DeLuise just from his voice, even as a young child. I was particularly fond of An American Tale growing up, and as someone who has always adored Mel Brooks movies, this news is somw of the more saddening I’ve heard in a long, long time.
Dom DeLuise did it all, and when he did it, you just couldn’t help but watch with a big smile on your face. He was the kind of person you just wanted to give a big hug to and laugh with him. His voice, his laugh, and his smile will never ever be forgotten, and eternally missed.
Dom DeLuise 1933 — 2009
[Source: CBS News]