Dom Deluise


Actor

About

Also Known As
Dom De Luise, Dom Deluises, Dominick Deluise
Birth Place
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Born
August 01, 1933
Died
May 04, 2009

Biography

An energetic comic talent with a hysterical and infectious laugh, Dom DeLuise was a character actor who lent stellar support to some of the biggest names in entertainment in for three decades. A dependable laugh-getter on television in the 1960s, his popularity brought him to features, where he was put to superb use in films by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder; he was also a frequent sidekick ...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

Carol Arthur
Wife
Actor. Married on November 23, 1965.

Bibliography

"Charlie the Caterpillar"
Dom DeLuise, Simon & Schuster (1990)
"Eat This . . . It Will Make You Feel Better: Mama's Italian Home Cooking and Other Favorites of Family and Friends"
Dom DeLuise, Simon & Schuster (1988)

Notes

"If you were shopping for a father, you'd have to take our a serious loan to afford mine. He's the best." --Peter DeLuise to People.

Biography

An energetic comic talent with a hysterical and infectious laugh, Dom DeLuise was a character actor who lent stellar support to some of the biggest names in entertainment in for three decades. A dependable laugh-getter on television in the 1960s, his popularity brought him to features, where he was put to superb use in films by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder; he was also a frequent sidekick to Burt Reynolds, who seemed incapable of keeping a straight face when DeLuise was around. Not content to rest on his acting alone, he directed two features, contributed performances to countless animated projects, appeared in several operas with the New York Met, and found considerable success as the author of several best-selling cookbooks and children's books.

Born Dominick DeLuise in Brooklyn, NY on Aug. 1, 1933, he was the son of civil servant John DeLuise and his wife Vincenza, whose culinary skills inspired several of his cookbooks. After graduating from Manhattan's High School of the Performing Arts, he was a regular in New York theater and children's television like "The Shari Lewis Show" (NBC, 1960-63). He made his off-Broadway debut in 1960s "The Jackass" before treading the boards on the Great White Way three years later in a production of "The Student Gypsy." By that point, DeLuise was also making the rounds as a comedian on national variety shows like "The Garry Moore Show" (CBS, 1964-67) and "The Entertainers" (CBS, 1964-65). The "Moore Show" gave him one of his most memorable bits, a disastrously inept magician named "Dominic the Great," which made him an audience favorite on numerous programs - most notably "The Dean Martin Show" (NBC, 1965-1974). DeLuise's feature film debut came with Sidney Lumet's nail-biting nuclear drama "Fail-Safe" (1964), where he played an understandably terrified soldier.

DeLuise balanced his television career with regular returns to the stage in the mid and late 1960s and early 1970s, including a stint in Neil Simon's hit "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers;" one of these productions introduced him to actress Carol Arthur, whom he married in 1965. He got a shot at his own variety series in 1968, but "The Dom DeLuise Show" (CBS, 1968) proved short-lived, and he returned to regular guest appearances on "The Glenn Campbell Goodtime Hour" (CBS, 1969-1972) and Dean Martin's variety show and roasts. In 1970, he made "The Twelve Chairs," an eccentric comedy based on the satirical Russian novel of the same name, which marked his first collaboration with Mel Brooks. DeLuise would soon be a member of Brooks' regular company for most of the features that followed. He was film director Buddy Bizarre in "Blazing Saddles" (1974), played Brooks' nitwit assistant Dom Bell in "Silent Movie" (1976), and was the obvious choice to play Emperor Nero in "History of the World Part 1" (1981). Deluise later voiced Pizza the Hut - a monstrous mound of cheese and pepperoni - in Brooks' "Star Wars" parody "Spaceballs" (1987) and delivered his tried-and-true Marlon Brando imitation in "Robin Hoods: Men in Tights" (1993). Brooks' frequent collaborator Gene Wilder later brought DeLuise aboard for his own comic efforts, including "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" (1975), which gave audiences a taste of the actor's vocal talents in his turn as a hilariously vain opera singer.

In 1978, DeLuise made his first feature with longtime friend Burt Reynolds - the broad comedy "The End," which saw both actors as mental patients who attempt to aid each other's suicide attempts. It was not a sizable hit, but the pair had undeniable chemistry, and would team up on screen for numerous subsequent films. The most popular of these was undeniably "The Cannonball Run" (1981), an all-star vanity project which allowed Reynolds' celebrity pals to mug furiously in between car crash sequences. DeLuise consumed the most scenery as Reynolds' milquetoast mechanic, who transformed into the caped superhero "Captain Chaos" at the most inopportune times. The duo naturally appeared in the lame sequel "Cannonball Run II" (1984), though DeLuise's best turn in his features with Reynolds was that of an eccentric televangelist who targets the "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1982) as a den of iniquity. Both actors would also contribute their immediately identifiable voices to the popular animated film "All Dogs Go to Heaven" (1989) and DeLuise would earn a Daytime Emmy nomination for reprising the role on the subsequent series (ABC/syndicated, 1996-99).

The popularity of his collaborations with Brooks and Reynolds allowed DeLuise to occasionally step out on his own as lead actor, which yielded varying results. He made a competent debut as director in the broad comedy "Hot Stuff" (1979), which featured cameos by many of his celebrity friends, as well as his wife and sons Peter and David, who later enjoyed acting careers of their own (a third son, Michael, also followed in his father's footsteps). DeLuise took a rare dramatic turn for first-time director Anne Bancroft in "Fatso" (1980) as a heavy-set bachelor looking for love. And he made a third attempt at a television series with "The Dom DeLuise Show" (syndicated, 1987-88), a sitcom based in a barbershop which was highlighted by guest appearances by celebrity pals.

By the late 1980s, DeLuise was finding steady work as a voice performer for animated series and features; he made his debut in that field with 1982's unsung "The Secret of NIHM," and won over countless younger viewers as the friendly cat Tiger in the Stephen Spielberg-produced "An American Tail" (1986) and its sequels and spin-off series. He also scored with his first cookbook, Eat This It Will Make You Feel Better (1988), which compiled stories and recipes from his mother's kitchen. A 1997 follow-up also earned favorable sales on bookshelves, and DeLuise later branched out into children's books with 1990's Charlie the Caterpillar and several others. And in 1990, he made his first of several appearances as the jailer Frosch in the New York Metropolitan Opera's productions of "Die Fledermaus." DeLuise also returned to television in the 1990s; first as the host for a daytime syndicated version of "Candid Camera" (1991-93) and later as a recurring character on the revived "Burke's Law" (CBS, 1994-95).

Though still exceptionally active as an actor and voice talent from 2000 on, DeLuise devoted much of his time to his second career as a celebrity chef. He contributed recipes and cooking tips on the syndicated radio series "On the House with the Carey Brothers," and maintained a brisk business in book sales and recipes via his web site, domdeluise.com. In 2006, he suffered a brief health scare when he collapsed in his home; his medical records were also a matter of public record when they were involved in a 2008 news story about hospital staff snooping into confidential files of celebrity patients. A year later, the beloved actor died in his sleep after battling a long illness. He was 75 years old.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Boys Will be Boys (1997)
Director
Hot Stuff (1979)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon (2008)
Himself
Girl Play (2004)
The Brainiacs.com (2000)
Baby Geniuses (1999)
The Secret of NIMH II: Timmy to the Rescue (1998)
Voice
The Godson (1998)
Between the Sheets (1997)
Boys Will be Boys (1997)
The Wedding Band (1997)
All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996)
Voice
The Tin Soldier (1995)
A Troll in Central Park (1994)
Voice
Don't Drink the Water (1994)
Munchie Strikes Back (1994)
The Silence Of The Hams (1994)
The Skateboard Kid (1993)
Voice
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Happily Ever After (1993)
Voice
Munchie (1992)
Voice
The Magic Voyage (1992)
Voice
Almost Pregnant (1992)
Driving Me Crazy (1991)
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991)
Voice
Loose Cannons (1990)
Die Laughing (1989)
All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
Oliver & Company (1988)
Voice
Un Tassinaro a New York (1987)
Spaceballs (1987)
Voice
Going Bananas (1987)
An American Tail (1986)
Voice
Haunted Honeymoon (1986)
Johnny Dangerously (1984)
Cannonball Run II (1984)
Happy (1983)
The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (1982)
The Secret Of Nimh (1982)
Voice
History of the World Part I (1981)
The Cannonball Run (1981)
Wholly Moses! (1980)
Fatso (1980)
Smokey And The Bandit II (1980)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Hot Stuff (1979)
The Last Married Couple In America (1979)
The Cheap Detective (1978)
Sextette (1978)
The End (1978)
The World's Greatest Lover (1977)
Silent Movie (1976)
The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Only With Married Men (1974)
Every Little Crook and Nanny (1972)
[Mario] Azzecca
Evil Roy Slade (1972)
Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971)
Irwin Marcy
The Twelve Chairs (1970)
Father Fyodor
What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968)
J. Gardner Monroe
The Busy Body (1967)
Kurt Brock
Fail Safe (1964)
Sergeant Collins

Producer (Feature Film)

Happy (1983)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
Song Performer
An American Tail (1986)
Song Performer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon (2008)
Other

Cast (Special)

Dick Van Patten: The Sure Bet (2001)
Weight Watchers: Before and After (2001)
Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn (2000)
Dean Martin: The E! True Hollywood Story (1999)
The Italian Americans II: A Beautiful Song (1998)
The 1997 Hollywood Christmas Parade (1997)
Shari's Passover Surprise (1997)
Dean Martin: Everybody Loves Somebody (1995)
Hal Roach: Hollywood's King of Laughter (1994)
The 19th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards (1992)
Presenter
Laurel & Hardy: A Tribute to the Boys (1992)
1991 Emmy Awards (1991)
Performer
Dinah Comes Home Again (1990)
Superstars And Their Moms (1989)
Friday Night Surprise! (1988)
The 59th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1987)
Performer
NBC News Report on America: Life in the Fat Lane (1987)
The Funniest Joke I Ever Heard (1984)
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1984)
Dom DeLuise and Friends (1983)
Baryshnikov in Hollywood (1982)
The Best Little Special in Texas (1982)
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982)
Magic With the Stars (1982)
Dean Martin at the Wild Animal Park (1982)
Dean Martin's Comedy Classics (1981)
Ann-Margret's Hollywood Movie Girls (1980)
Dean Martin's Red Hot Scandals Part 2 (1977)
Dean Martin's Red Hot Scandals of 1926 (1976)
Arthur Godfrey's Portable Electric Medicine Show (1972)

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Lion of Oz and the Badge of Courage (2000)
Voice
The Good Bad Guy (1997)
Timmy's Gift: A Precious Moments Christmas (1991)
Voice
Henry's Cat (1986)
Narrator
Henry's Cat (1986)
Voice

Life Events

1960

Made NY stage debut in the off-Broadway production of "Little Mary Sunshine"

1963

First Broadway performance was in "The Student Gypsy"

1964

Film acting debut in Sidney Lumet's "Fail Safe"

1964

Was as a regular performer (with Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart) in the television show "The Entertainers" (CBS)

1964

Made TV debut on "The Garry Moore Show" (CBS), created character Dominic the Great

1966

Appeared as a regular on "The Dean Martin Summer Show" (NBC)

1968

Hosted own short-lived variety show, "The Dom DeLuise Show" on CBS

1969

First collaboration with Mel Brooks, "The Twelve Chairs"

1971

Assumed leading role of Barney Cashman in Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers"

1971

Was a recurring guest on "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour"

1972

Appeared regularly on "The Dean Martin Show" (NBC)

1973

Starred in the NBC sitcom, "Lotsa Luck"

1974

Re-teamed with Mel Brooks for "Blazing Saddles"

1975

Co-starred in the comedy film "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother" directed by and starring Gene Wilder

1976

Once again teamed with Brooks for "Silent Movie"

1978

Co-starred with and directed by Burt Reynolds in "The End"

1979

Feature film directing debut, "Hot Stuff"; also starred

1980

Joined Burt Reynolds for the comedy hit, "Smokey and the Bandit II"

1980

Played the lead role, opposite Anne Bancroft in "Fatso"; also written and directed by Bancroft

1980

Began directing stage productions at the Burt Reynolds Theatre

1981

Co-starred in Mel Brooks' "History of the World, Part I"

1981

Once again starred opposite Reynolds in the cult comedy hit "The Cannonball Run"

1982

Played a supporting role in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds

1984

Reprised role for "Cannonball Run II"

1986

Co-starred with Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner in "Haunted Honeymoon"; Wilder also wrote and directed

1987

Starred in the syndicated sitcom, "The Dom DeLuise Show"

1989

Made opera debut in "Orpheus in the Underworld" with the Los Angeles Opera Company

1991

Hosted the syndicated show, "Candid Camera"

1994

Played the regular role of Vinnie on "Burke's Law" (CBS)

1996

Voiced Itchy Itchiford in the animated series, "All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series" (ABC)

1998

Played Cookie the Cook on the PBS children's series "Charlie Horse Music Pizza"

Photo Collections

Fatso - Movie Poster
Fatso - Movie Poster
The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas - Scene Stills
Here are a few Scene Stills from The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (1982), starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Family

John DeLuise
Father
Civil servant.
Vicenza DeLuise
Mother
Inspired Dom's cookbook.
Peter John DeLuise
Son
Actor. Born on November 6, 1966.
Michael Robert DeLuise
Son
Actor. Born on August 4, 1970.
David Dominick DeLuise
Son
Actor. Born on November 11, 1971.

Companions

Carol Arthur
Wife
Actor. Married on November 23, 1965.

Bibliography

"Charlie the Caterpillar"
Dom DeLuise, Simon & Schuster (1990)
"Eat This . . . It Will Make You Feel Better: Mama's Italian Home Cooking and Other Favorites of Family and Friends"
Dom DeLuise, Simon & Schuster (1988)

Notes

"If you were shopping for a father, you'd have to take our a serious loan to afford mine. He's the best." --Peter DeLuise to People.