Dominick "Dom" DeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009) was an American actor and comedian. Known primarily for comedy roles, he rose to fame in the 1970s as a frequent guest on television variety shows. He is widely recognized for his performances in the films of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, as well as a series of collaborations and a double act with Burt Reynolds. Beginning in the 1980s, his popularity expanded to younger audiences from voicing characters in several major animated productions, particularly those of Don Bluth.
DeLuise was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian American parents. He attended the High School of Performing Arts in New York City and later studied biology at Tufts University. After graduating from college, he began his career as a stand-up comedian. He made his television debut in 1964 on the variety show The Dean Martin Show.
In 1970, DeLuise made his film debut in the Mel Brooks comedy The Twelve Chairs. He went on to appear in several other Brooks films, including Blazing Saddles, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and History of the World, Part I. He also starred in a number of films with Gene Wilder, including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, The World's Greatest Lover, and See No Evil, Hear No Evil.
DeLuise was a frequent collaborator with Burt Reynolds, and the two starred in a number of films together, including The End, Smokey and the Bandit II, and Cannonball Run II. He also had a recurring role on the television series Evening Shade.
In addition to his film and television work, DeLuise was also a successful voice actor. He voiced characters in a number of animated films, including All Dogs Go to Heaven, The Secret of NIMH, and An American Tail. He also hosted the children's cooking show Cooking with Dom DeLuise.
DeLuise was a popular and beloved figure in Hollywood. He was known for his infectious laugh and his larger-than-life personality. He was also a talented actor and comedian, and he enjoyed a long and successful career.
Dom DeLuise died on May 4, 2009, at the age of 75. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for several months. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Beverly Hills, California.
DeLuise's family released a statement saying that he had died "peacefully at home after a long battle with cancer." They said that he was "surrounded by his loving family and friends."
DeLuise's death was met with sadness and tributes from fans and colleagues alike. Mel Brooks, who directed DeLuise in several films, said that he was "a great talent and a great friend." Gene Wilder said that DeLuise was "one of the funniest people I've ever known."
DeLuise's funeral was held on May 8, 2009, at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. He was buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.