Dom DeLuise

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Dominick DeLuise
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Dominick "DomDeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009) was an American actor, comedian, film director, television producer, chef, and author.

He was the husband of actress Carol Arthur from 1965 until his death and the father of actor, director, pianist, and writer Peter DeLuise, actor David DeLuise, and actor Michael DeLuise

He starred in a number of movies directed by Mel Brooks, in a series of films with career-long best friend Burt Reynolds, and as a voice actor in various animated films by Don Bluth.

Spouse Carol Arthur
(m.1965–2009; his death)



Early life

DeLuise was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian American parents Vincenza "Jennie" (née DeStefano), a homemaker, and John DeLuise, a public employee (garbage collector). He was the youngest of three children, having an older brother, Nicholas "Nick" DeLuise, and an older sister, Antoinette DeLuise-Daurio.[1] DeLuise graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts and later attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. DeLuise was Roman Catholic and had a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary.


In 1961 DeLuise played in the Off Broadway musical revue "Another Evening with Harry Stoons" [4] that lasted nine previews and one performance. Another member of the cast was 19-year-old Barbra Streisand.

DeLuise generally appeared in comedic parts, although an early appearance in the movie Fail-Safe as a nervous USAFtechnical sergeant showed a broader range. His first acting credit was as a regular performer in the television show The Entertainers in 1964. He gained early notice for his supporting turn in the Doris Day film The Glass Bottom Boat (1966). In his New York Times review, Vincent Canby panned the film but singled out the actor, stating, "[T]he best of the lot, however, is a newcomer, Dom DeLuise, as a portly, bird-brained spy."

In the 1970s and 1980s he often co-starred with Burt Reynolds. Together they appeared in the films The Cannonball Runand Cannonball Run IISmokey and the Bandit IIThe EndAll Dogs Go to Heaven and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. DeLuise was the host of the television show Candid Camera from 1991-92.

DeLuise also lent his distinct voice to various animated films and was a particular staple of Don Bluth's features, playing major roles in The Secret of NIMHAn American TailA Troll in Central Park and All Dogs Go to HeavenAll Dogs Go to Heaven also featured Reynolds' voice as Charlie B. Barkin, the at-first reluctant hero, and DeLuise voiced Itchy Itchiford, Charlie's best friend, sidekick and later partner in business. Unlike DeLuise, however, Reynolds did not voice Charlie in any of the eventual film sequels, TV episodes, TV-episode sequels, or TV series. DeLuise also voiced the legendary character of Charles Dickens' Fagin in the Walt Disney film Oliver & Company and made voice guest appearances on several animated TV series.

TV producer Greg Garrison hired DeLuise to appear as a specialty act on The Dean Martin Show. DeLuise ran through his "Dominick the Great" routine, a riotous example of a magic act gone wrong, with host Martin as a bemused volunteer from the audience. Dom's catch phrase, with an Italian accent, was "No Applause Please, Save-a to the End." The show went so well that DeLuise was soon a regular on Martin's program, participating in both songs and sketches. Garrison also featured DeLuise in his own hour-long comedy specials for ABC. (Martin was often just off-camera when these were taped, and his distinctive laugh can be heard loud and clear.) In 1968 he hosted his own hour-long comedy variety series for CBS, The Dom DeLuise Show. Taped in Miami at The Jackie Gleason Theater it featured many regular Gleason show cast members including The June Taylor Dancers and The Sammy Spear Orchestra. Dom's wife Carol Arthur also regularly appeared. The 16 week run was the summer replacement for The Jonathan Winters Show.

DeLuise was probably best known as a regular in Mel Brooks' films. He appeared in The Twelve ChairsBlazing Saddles,Silent MovieHistory of the World, Part ISpaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Brooks' late wife, actress Anne Bancroft, directed Dom in Fatso (1980). He also had a cameo in Johnny Dangerously as the Pope and in Jim Henson'sThe Muppet Movie as a wayward Hollywood talent agent who comes across Kermit the Frog singing "The Rainbow Connection" in the film's opening scene. He also appeared with fellow Brooks regulars Gene Wilder (who directed the film as well), Marty Feldman, and Madeline Kahn in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, as well as alongside Wilder and Gilda Radner in a later Gene Wilder-directed film, Haunted Honeymoon. He also appeared in Stargate SG-1 as Urgo.

DeLuise exhibited his comedic talents while playing the speaking part of the jailer Frosch in the comedic operetta Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, playing the role in four separate revivals of the work at the Met between December 1989 and January 1996. In the production, while the singing was in German, the spoken parts were in English. A lifelong opera fan, he also portrayed the role of L'Opinion Publique in drag for the Los Angeles Opera's production of Offenbach'sOrpheus in the Underworld.

An avid cook and author of several books on cooking, he appeared as a regular contributor to a syndicated home improvement radio show, On The House with The Carey Brothers, giving listeners tips on culinary topics. He was also a friend and self-proclaimed "look-alike" of famous Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme and author of seven children's books.

Personal life

In 1964, while working in summer theater in Provincetown, Massachusetts, DeLuise met his wife, actress Carol Arthur. They have three sons.


DeLuise died on May 4, 2009, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. He was hospitalized at the time, suffering from kidney failure and respiratory problems due to complications from diabetes and high blood pressure. He suffered from cancer for more than a year prior to his death.

His family was by his side at the time of his death. His good friend Burt Reynolds made a statement to the Los Angeles Times, saying: "As you get older and start to lose people you love, you think about it more, and I was dreading this moment. Dom always made you feel better when he was around, and there will never be another like him." Mel Brooks also made a statement to the same paper, telling them that DeLuise "created so much joy and laughter on the set that you couldn’t get your work done. So every time I made a movie with Dom, I would plan another two days on the schedule just for laughter. It's a sad day. It's hard to think of this life and this world without him."


  • Diary of a Bachelor (1964)
  • Fail-Safe (1964) - Sgt. Collins
  • The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) - Julius Pritter
  • The Busy Body (1967)
  • What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968)
  • The Twelve Chairs (1970) - Father Fyodor
  • Norwood (1970)
  • Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971)
  • Every Little Crook and Nanny (1972)
  • Only with Married Men (1974)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974) - Buddy Bizarre
  • The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother(1975) - Eduardo Gambetti
  • Silent Movie (1976) - Dom Bell
  • The World's Greatest Lover (1977) - Zitz
  • Sextette (1978) - Dan Turner
  • The End (1978) - Marlon Borunki
  • The Cheap Detective (1978) - Pepe Damascus
  • The Muppet Movie (1979) - Bernie the Agent (cameo)
  • Hot Stuff (1979) - Ernie Fortunato (also director)
  • The Last Married Couple in America (1980)
  • Fatso (1980) - Dominic DeNapoli
  • Wholly Moses (1980)
  • Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) - Dr. Frederico "Doc" Carlucci
  • History of the World, Part I (1981) - Emperor Nero
  • The Cannonball Run (1981) - Victor Prinzi/Captain Chaos
  • Peter-No-Tail (1981) (voice in English dubbed version)
  • The Secret of NIMH (1982) (voice) - Jeremy
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) - Melvin P. Thorpe
  • Cannonball Run II (1984) - Victor Prinzi/Captain Chaos
  • Johnny Dangerously (1984) - The Pope
  • Haunted Honeymoon (1986) - Aunt Mary Kate
  • An American Tail (1986) (voice) - Tiger
  • A Taxi Driver in New York (1987)
  • Spaceballs (1987) (voice only) - Pizza the Hutt
  • Going Bananas (1988)
  • Oliver & Company (1988) (voice) - Fagin
  • The Princess and the Dwarf (1989)
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) (voice) - Itchy Itchiford
  • Loose Cannons (1990) - Harry Gutterman
  • Driving Me Crazy (1991) (aka "Trabbi Goes to Hollywood")
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) (voice) - Tiger
  • Munchie (1992) (voice only)
  • The Magic Voyage (1992) (voice) - Christopher Columbus
  • Almost Pregnant (1992)
  • The Skateboard Kid (1993) (voice only) - Rip
  • Happily Ever After (1993) (voice) - The Looking Glass
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) - Don Giovanni
  • Don't Drink the Water (1994) - Father Drobney
  • The Silence of the Hams (1994) - Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza
  • A Troll in Central Park (1994) (voice) - Stanley
  • The Tin Soldier (1995) - Toy shop owner
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996) (voice) - Itchy Itchiford
  • Red Line (1996) - Jerry
  • Boys Will Be Boys (1997)
  • The Good Bad Guys (1997)
  • Between the Sheets (1998) (Cameo)
  • An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998) - Itchy
  • The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue (1998) - Jeremy
  • The Godson (1998) - The Oddfather
  • An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island(1998) (voice) - Tiger
  • Baby Geniuses (1999) - Lenny
  • An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster(2000) (voice) - Tiger
  • Lion of Oz (2000) (voice)
  • The (2000)
  • My X-Girlfriend's Wedding Reception (2001)
  • It's All About You (2002)
  • Remembering Mario (2003) (voice only)
  • Girl Play (2004)
  • Breaking the Fifth (2004)
  • Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm (2006) (voice) - Myrin
  • The Entertainers (1964–1965)
  • The Munsters (1966)
  • The Dean Martin Summer Show (regular performer in 1966)
  • The Dom DeLuise Show (1968) (summer replacement for Jackie Gleason)
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1969) - season 2 episode 5 Seaman Elroy Applegate
  • The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (regular performer from 1971–1972)
  • The Roman Holidays (1972) - Mr. Evictus
  • The Dean Martin Show (regular performer from 1972–1973)
  • Evil Roy Slade (1972)
  • Lotsa Luck (1973–1974)
  • Only with Married Men (1974)
  • The Jacksons Variety Show (1977) [Guest]
  • The Muppet Show (1977) [Guest]
  • The Jacksons (1977)
  • Happy (1983) (also executive producer)
  • Amazing Stories, episode: Guilt Trip (1985)
  • The Dom DeLuise Show (1987–1988)
  • 21 Jump Street (1989)
  • B.L. Stryker, episode: "Die Laughing" (1989)
  • Precious Moments Christmas: Timmy's Gift (1991) (voice) - Nicodemus
  • Fievel's American Tails (1991–1992) (voice) - Tiger
  • Candid Camera (host from 1991–1992)
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show (cast member from 1993–1995) (voice)
  • Married... with Children (1993) (voice)
  • Diagnosis Murder (1993) ("Murder at the Telethon")(Buddy Blake)
  • Burke's Law (1994–1995)
  • seaQuest DSV (1994 - Episode: "Vapors")
  • The Magic School Bus (TV series) (1994 - Episode Get Ready, Set, Dough) (guest voice) - Baker
  • Alef Bet Blast-Off Lights of Freedom Pharaoh (1995)
  • Tin Soldier (1995)
  • Shari's Passover Surprise (1996)
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series (1996) (voice)
  • Beverly Hills, 90210, episode: "I Only Have Eyes for You" (1997)
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun (1997)
  • Dexter's Laboratory (1997 - episode: "Koosalagoopagoop", voice of Koosie)
  • I Am Weasel (1997–1999) (voices)
  • Hercules: The Animated Series (1998-1999) (Bacchus)
  • Rugrats (Guest Star)
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1998)
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series (1996–1999) (voice) - Itchy
  • Charlie Horse Music Pizza (1998)
  • Stargate SG-1 episode "Urgo" (2000)
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2000) (voice)
  • Emeril (2001)
  • Always Greener (2001)
  • Father of the Pride (2004) (voice)
  • Robot Chicken (2005) (guest voice)
  • Duck Dodgers (2005) (guest voice)
Video games
  • Toonstruck (1996) (voice)


Writings for children
  • Charlie the Caterpillar, illustrated by Christopher Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1990
  • Goldilocks (also known as Goldie Locks & The Three Bears: The Real Story!), illustrated by Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1992
  • Hansel & Gretel, by Santoro, Simon & Schuster,1997
  • The Nightingale (also known as Dom DeLuise's The Nightingale), illustrated by Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1998
  • King Bob's New Clothes, illustrated by Santoro, Simon & Schuster, 1999
  • The Pouch Potato, illustrated by Derek Carter, Bacchus Books, 2001
  • There's No Place Like Home, illustrated by Tim Brown
  • Eat This ... It Will Make You Feel Better: Mamma's Italian Home Cooking and Other Favorites of Family and Friends(also known as Eat This), Simon & Schuster, 1988
  • Eat This Too! It'll Also Make You Feel Better (also known as Eat This Too!), Atria, 1997
  • The Pizza Challenge


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