Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RIP - Dom DeLuise

Sad news out of Hollywood, as beloved sidekick Dom DeLuise has passed away at the age of 75.

DeLuise attended New York's legendary High School of the Performing Arts before embarking on a career as an actor, appearing in numerous off-Broadway shows. In 1968, he got his first break when he appeared in Neil Simon's The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, kicking off a long comedic career.

Although he made his film debut in Sydney Lumet's Fail-Safe, he gained fame for his comedic roles, becoming a favourite of Mel Brooks who cast him in many films including Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie and Spaceballs. He would appear on countless television shows, performing with the likes of Carol Burnett, Rowan and Martin and Bob Newhart. He was also a frequent and popular guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

But it was as Burt Reynold's wacky sidekick that he gained the most fame, appearing with the actor in The End, Cannonball Run, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Cannonball Run II, and Smokey and the Bandit 2. In a statement, Reynolds said, "I was dreading this moment. Dom always made everyone feel better when he was around. I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. I will miss him very much."

In later life, DeLuise released a series of bestselling cookbooks and won good reviews for a performance at the Met as Frosh the jailer in the opera Die Fledermaus.

He will be missed. Here's how I'll always remember him:

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