Dom DeLuise

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Dom DeLuise
DeLuise in 1975
Dominick DeLuise

(1933-08-01)August 1, 1933
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 4, 2009(2009-05-04) (aged 75)
Resting placeCalvary Cemetery
Alma materTufts University
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • author
Years active1951–2009
(m. 1965)
ChildrenPeter DeLuise
Michael DeLuise
David DeLuise

Dominick DeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009) was an American actor, comedian and author. 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.

Early life[edit]

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).[1] He was the youngest of three children, having an older brother, Nicholas "Nick" DeLuise, and an older sister, Antoinette DeLuise-Daurio.[2] DeLuise graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts and later attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, where he majored in biology.[3] DeLuise was Roman Catholic and had a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary.[4]


DeLuise's paid stage debut, at age 18, of Bernie the dog was in the drama Bernie's Christmas Wish.[1] His first steady gig was as an intern at the Cleveland Play House, 1952–54, as stage manager and actor.[5]

In 1961, DeLuise played in the off-Broadway musical revue Another Evening with Harry Stoons,[6] which lasted nine previews and one performance.[7] Another member of the cast was 19-year-old Barbra Streisand. He was also in the off-Broadway play All in Love, which opened on November 10, 1961, at the Martinique Theatre and ran for 141 performances.[8] Other New York theater performances included Half-Past Wednesday (off-Broadway) (1962); Around the World in 80 Days (off-Broadway) (1963); The Student Gypsy (Broadway) (1963); Here's Love (Broadway) (1963); and Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Broadway) (1969).[9]

DeLuise generally appeared in comedic parts, although an early appearance in the movie Fail-Safe as a nervous USAF technical 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 review in The New York Times, 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."[10]

In the 1970s and 1980s, he often co-starred with his real-life friend Burt Reynolds. Together they appeared in the films The Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II, Smokey and the Bandit II, The End, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. DeLuise was the host of the television show Candid Camera from 1991 to 1992. He was a mainstay of Burke's Law, an American television series that aired on CBS during the 1993–1994 and 1994–1995 television seasons.[citation needed]

DeLuise also lent his distinctive voice to various animated films and was a particular staple of Don Bluth's features, playing major roles in The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, A Troll in Central Park and All Dogs Go to Heaven (also with Reynolds). All Dogs Go to Heaven also featured Reynolds' voice as Charlie B. Barkin while DeLuise voiced Itchy Itchiford, Charlie's best friend, wing-man and later partner in business. Unlike DeLuise, however, Reynolds would not contribute a voiceover to any of the eventual film or television series or sequels.[citation needed]

DeLuise also voiced the incarnation of Charles Dickens' Fagin in the Walt Disney film Oliver & Company and made voice guest appearances on several animated TV series.[citation needed]

The handprints of Dom DeLuise in Atlantic City, New Jersey

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 catchphrase, 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.[citation needed]

Garrison also featured DeLuise in his own hour-long comedy specials for ABC. (Martin was often off-camera when these were taped, and his distinctive laugh can be heard.)[citation needed]

In 1968, DeLuise 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. DeLuise's wife Carol Arthur also regularly appeared. The 16-week run was the summer replacement for The Jonathan Winters Show. He later starred in his own sitcom, Lotsa Luck (1973–1974).[citation needed]

DeLuise was probably best known as a regular in Mel Brooks's films. He appeared in The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Brooks' wife, actress Anne Bancroft, directed Dom in Fatso (1980).[11]

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's Orpheus in the Underworld.[12]

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.[13] 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[edit]

In 1964, while working in a summer theater in Provincetown, Massachusetts, DeLuise met actress Carol Arthur.[14][15] They married in 1965 and had three sons, all of whom are actors: Peter, Michael, and David DeLuise.[15]


DeLuise died in his sleep of kidney failure on May 4, 2009, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, at age 75.[15] He had cancer for more than a year prior to his death and also had high blood pressure and diabetes.[16]

Burt Reynolds paid tribute to DeLuise in 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."[17] 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."[14]



Year Title Role Notes
1964 Diary of a Bachelor Marvin Rollins
1964 Fail Safe Sgt. Collins
1966 The Glass Bottom Boat Julius Pritter
1967 The Busy Body Kurt Brock
1968 What's So Bad About Feeling Good? J. Gardner Monroe
1970 Norwood Bill Bird
1970 The Twelve Chairs Father Fyodor
1971 Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Irwin Marcy
1972 Every Little Crook and Nanny Mario Azzecca
1974 Blazing Saddles Buddy Bizarre
1974 Only with Married Men Murray West TV movie
1975 The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Eduardo Gambetti
1976 Silent Movie Dom Bell
1977 The World's Greatest Lover Adolph Zitz
1978 Sextette Dan Turner
1978 The End Marlon Borunki
1978 The Cheap Detective Pepe Damascus
1979 Hot Stuff Ernie Fortunato Also director
1979 The Muppet Movie Bernie the Agent Cameo
1980 Fatso Dominic DeNapoli
1980 The Last Married Couple in America Walter Holmes
1980 Wholly Moses! Shadrach
1980 Smokey and the Bandit II Dr. Frederico "Doc" Carlucci
1981 History of the World, Part I Emperor Nero
1981 The Cannonball Run Victor Prinzim / Captain Chaos
1981 Peter-No-Tail Bull English version
1982 The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Melvin P. Thorpe
1982 The Secret of NIMH Jeremy (voice) [18]
1984 Cannonball Run II Victor Prinzi / Captain Chaos / Don Canneloni
1984 Johnny Dangerously The Pope
1986 Haunted Honeymoon Aunt Mary Kate
1986 An American Tail Tiger (voice) [18]
1987 Going Bananas Big Bad Joe Hopkins
1987 A Taxi Driver in New York Captain T. Favretto
1987 Spaceballs Pizza the Hutt (voice)
1988 Oliver & Company Fagin (voice) [18]
1989 All Dogs Go to Heaven Itchy Itchiford (voice) [18]
1990 Loose Cannons Harry Gutterman
1991 Driving Me Crazy Mr. B Alternate title: Trabbi Goes to Hollywood
1991 Dragon and Slippers Goliath the Dragon (voice) English version[18]
1991 An American Tail: Fievel Goes West Tiger (voice) [18]
1992 Almost Pregnant Doctor Beckhard
1992 The Magic Voyage Christopher Columbus (voice) English version[18]
1992 Munchie Munchie (voice) [18]
1993 Happily Ever After The Looking Glass (voice) [18]
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Don Giovanni
1993 The Skateboard Kid Rip (voice) [18]
1994 The Silence of the Hams Dr. Animal Cannibal Pizza
1994 A Troll in Central Park Stanley (voice) [18]
1994 Don't Drink the Water Father Drobney TV movie
1995 The Tin Soldier Mr. Fallon TV movie
1995 The 4th of July Parade Pizza Guy
1996 Red Line Jerry
1996 All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 Itchy Itchiford (voice) [18]
1997 The Good Bad Guy The Judge
1998 Between the Sheets Cameo
1998 Gormiti: The Animated Movie Joey the Kangaroo,
Blue Monster (voice)
1998 The Godson The Oddfather
1998 An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island Tiger (voice) Direct-to-video[18]
1998 An All Dogs Christmas Carol Itchy / Ghost of Christmas Past (voice) Television film[18]
1998 The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue Jeremy (voice) Direct-to-video[18]
1999 My X-Girlfriend's Wedding Reception Father O'Rdeal
1999 Boys Will Be Boys Chef TV movie; also director
1999 Baby Geniuses Lenny
2000 The Ivan Lucre
2000 An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night Monster Tiger (voice) Direct-to-video[18]
2000 Lion of Oz Oscar Diggs (voice) Credited as Dom DeLuises[18]
2001 Always Greener
2002 It's All About You
2003 Remembering Mario Mario (voice)
2004 Girl Play Gabriel
2004 Breaking the Fifth Flealand Cunchulis Last on-screen film role
2006 Video Classroom Lesson 1: Space and Sea Animated School Teacher Video short
2019 Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm Myrin (voice) Recorded in 2006; posthumous release; final film role; dedicated in memory


Year Title Role Notes
1962 The Shari Lewis Show Kenny Ketchem 1 episode
1963 The Joey Bishop Show Patient Episode: "My Son, the Doctor"
1964–1965 The Entertainers Himself 5 episodes
1966 The Munsters Dr. Dudley Episode: "Just Another Pretty Face"
1966 The Dean Martin Summer Show Himself 6 episodes
1968, 1987–1988 The Dom DeLuise Show Himself/host 11 episodes
1969 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Seaman Elroy Applegate Season 2 Episode 5 Seaman
1971 The Des O'Connor Show Regular performer
1971–1972 The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour Regular performer
1972 The Roman Holidays Mr. Francis Evictus (voice) Episode: "Hectic Holiday"
1972–1973 The Dean Martin Show Regular performer
1972 Evil Roy Slade Logan Delp Television film
1973–1974 Lotsa Luck Stanley Belmont 22 episodes
1974 Only with Married Men Murry West Television film
1977 The Jacksons Variety Show Himself
1977 The Muppet Show Himself [19]
1977 The Jacksons Himself 1 episode
1983 Happy Roger Handover Also executive producer
1985 Amazing Stories Guilt Episode: "Guilt Trip"
1989 21 Jump Street Uncle Nick Episode: "Wooly Bullies"
1989 B.L. Stryker Toby Beaumont Episode: "Die Laughing"
1990 Timeless Tales from Hallmark The Emperor (voice) Episode: "The Emperor's New Clothes"
1991 Precious Moments Christmas: Timmy's Gift Nicodemus (voice) Direct-to-video
1991–1992 Candid Camera Host
1991–1992 Fievel's American Tails Tiger (voice) 13 Episodes
1993 Married... with Children Floyd the Dog (voice) Episode: "Change for a Buck"
1993 Diagnosis Murder Buddy Blake Episode: "Murder at the Telethon"
1994 The Magic School Bus Baker (voice) Episode: "Get Ready, Set, Dough"
1994–1995 Burke's Law Vinnie Piatte 25 episodes
1994 seaQuest DSV Nick Piccolo Episode: "Vapors"
1995 The Ren & Stimpy Show Big Kahuna (voice) Episode: "Pixie King/Aloha Hoek"
1995 Alef Bet Blast-Off Lights of Freedom Pharaoh
1995 Tin Soldier Mr. Ted Fallon Television film
1996 Shari's Passover Surprise Himself Television film
1997 Duckman The Governor (voice) Episode: "A Star Is Abhorred"
1997 Cow and Chicken Jean-Paul Beaver / Governor #2 / Owl #2
/ Mayor / Frenchman #3 / Neighbor #2 (voices)
2 Episodes[18]
1997 Beverly Hills, 90210 Magic Morton Episode: "I Only Have Eyes for You"
1997 3rd Rock from the Sun Mr. Timmy Polone Episode: "Auto Erodicka"
1998 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Mortimer Episode: "The Pom Pom Incident"
1998 The Charlie Horse Music Pizza Cookie Season 1 - Season 2
1998 Police Academy: The Series Zeus (voice) Episode: "Bring Me the Turtle of Commandant Hefilfinger"
1998 Hercules: The Animated Series Bacchus (voice) Episode: "Hercules and the Bacchanal"
1996–1998 All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series Itchy Itchiford (voice) 20 Episodes[18]
1998 The Wild Thornberrys Baby Condor (voice) Episode: "Flight of the Donnie"[18]
1997–1999 I Am Weasel Mayor / Frenchman #3 / Neighbor #2 (voices) 2 episodes
1997–2003 Dexter's Laboratory Koosy / Koosalagoopagoop (voice) 4 episodes
1998–1999 The Charlie Horse Music Pizza Cookie (voice) 23 episodes
1999 Stargate SG-1 Urgo / Togar Episode 316 (S3E16 Urgo)
2001 Emeril Himself Episode: "One Man's Cornbread"
2002 Rugrats Director (voice) Episode: "Starstruck/Who's Taffy?"
2004 Father of the Pride Duke (voice) Episode: "One Man's Meat Is Another Man's Girlfriend"
2005 Robot Chicken Victor Prinzim / Himself (voices) Episode: "Gold Dust Gasoline"
2005 Duck Dodgers Roy Serpenti (voice) Episode: "All in the Crime Family"[18]
2009 Spaceballs: The Animated Series Pizza the Hutt (voice) Episode: "Pilot Part 1: The Avenge of Dark Helmet" (Final acting role)

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Toonstruck 'Fingers' the Cashier


Writings for children[edit]

  • 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


  1. ^ a b "Larger Than Life". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 1999. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "Dom Deluise Biography (1933- )". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Nathan Southern (2009). "Dom DeLuise Biography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 9, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Brown, Tony (May 6, 2009). "Dom DeLuise's acting roots traced to Cleveland in the early '50s". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  6. ^ "Barbra Archives". Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Streisand, Barbra. "Value". Live at the Bon Soir (1962). Archived from the original on May 11, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "All in Love Original Off-Broadway Cast - 1961 Off-Broadway". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "Dom DeLuise Theatre Credits". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  10. ^ Vincent Canby (June 10, 1966). "Movie Review: The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  11. ^ Heather Buckley (March 9, 2010). "Horror at the Oscars Part 2: This Time it's Personal". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  12. ^ "Obituaries: Actors Dom DeLuise and Beatrice Arthur; mezzo Margreta Elkins; soprano Anne Brown, Gershwin's original Bess; composer Lukas Foss dies at eighty-six". Opera News. Vol. 74, no. 1. July 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  13. ^ "In The Kitchen with Dom DeLuise". Archived from the original on June 9, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  14. ^ a b McLellan, Dennis (May 6, 2009). "Dom DeLuise dies at 75; actor was a 'naturally funny man'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c Grimes, William (May 5, 2009). "Dom DeLuise, Comic Actor, Dies at 75". The New York Times. New York City. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  16. ^ "Dom DeLuise dies at 75". CNN. June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  17. ^ "Actor, Dom DeLuise dies at 75". Press. May 5, 2009. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Dom DeLuise - 36 Character Images". Behind The Voice Actors.
  19. ^ Garlen, Jennifer C.; Graham, Anissa M. (2009). Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's Muppets. McFarland & Company. p. 218. ISBN 978-0786442591.

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