Dom DeLuise dies at age 75

Tue May 5, 2009 6:53pm EDT
 
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Dom DeLuise, the U.S. comic actor who gained fame on television and in movies such as "Blazing Saddles," has died at age 75, family members said on Tuesday.

DeLuise, who co-starred alongside Burt Reynolds in movies such as "Smokey and the Bandit II" and "The Cannonball Run," died in his sleep at a Los Angeles hospital Monday night, his son Michael DeLuise told a Los Angeles TV station.

"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," Reynolds told celebrity television show "Entertainment Tonight."

In December 2008 the actor told ET that he had been fighting prostate cancer. "I'm still here. I'm 75 and here. I feel very blessed," he said.

ET said a family member told the show DeLuise died as a result of a variety of health problems.

Dominick "Dom" DeLuise was born August 1, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York. He began his career in movies and on TV in the 1960s, and he gained widespread fame on the Dean Martin Show as "Dominick the Great," a magician whose act routinely went wrong.

For a brief period in 1968, he was given his own TV program, "The Dom DeLuise Show," and he later proved to be appealing as a guest star in sketch comedy and other shows.

"I loved him from the moment we met. Not only did we have the greatest time working together, but I never laughed so hard in my life as when we were together," Doris Day, who starred with DeLuise in the 1966 movie, "The Glass Bottom Boat," said in a statement.   Continued...

 
<p>Actors Dom DeLuise (L) and Burt Reynolds are shown in a scene from their 1981 film "The Canonball Run". REUTERS/20th Century Fox/Handout/Files</p>