Dom DeLuise

Dominick DeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009) was an American actor, voice actor, comedian, director, producer, chef and author. He was the husband of actress Carol Arthur and the father of actor, director, pianist, and writer Peter DeLuise, and actors David DeLuise and Michael DeLuise.[1] 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.

Dom DeLuise
DeLuise in 1975
Born(1933-08-01)August 1, 1933
DiedMay 4, 2009(2009-05-04) (aged 75)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Resting placeCalvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens, New York, U.S.
OccupationActor, voice actor, comedian, director, producer, author
Years active1961–2009
Carol Arthur (m. 1965)
ChildrenPeter DeLuise
Michael DeLuise
David DeLuise

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.[2] DeLuise was Roman Catholic and had a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary.[3]


In 1961, DeLuise played in the Off-Broadway musical revue Another Evening with Harry Stoons,[4] which lasted nine previews and one performance.[5] 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.[6] 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).[7]

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."[8]

In the 1970s and 1980s, he often co-starred with Burt Reynolds. Together they appeared in the films The Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II, Smokey and the Bandit II, The End, All Dogs Go to Heaven 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 1993–94 and 1994–95 television seasons.

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 NIMH, An American Tail, A Troll in Central Park and All Dogs Go to Heaven. All Dogs Go to Heaven also featured Reynolds' voice as Charlie B. Barkin, the cheeky anti-hero, and DeLuise voiced Itchy Itchiford, Charlie's best friend, wing-man 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 off-camera when these were taped, and his distinctive laugh can be heard.)

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).

DeLuise was probably best known as a regular in Mel Brooks' 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' late wife, actress Anne Bancroft, directed Dom in Fatso (1980).[9] He also had a cameo in Johnny Dangerously as the Pope and in Jim Henson's The 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 guest-starred in Season 2 Episode 11 of The Muppet Show, where he interacted with Miss Piggy and 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's Orpheus in the Underworld.[10]

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.[11] 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 a Provincetown, Massachusetts, summer theater, DeLuise met actress Carol Arthur. They married in 1965[12][13] and had three sons, all of whom are actors: Peter, Michael, and David DeLuise.[13]


DeLuise died of kidney failure on May 4, 2009, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California at age 75.[13] He had been battling cancer for more than a year prior to his death.[14]

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."[15] 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."[12]



List of performances in films
1964Diary of a BachelorMarvin Rollins
1964Fail SafeSgt. Collins
1966The Glass Bottom BoatJulius Pritter
1967The Busy BodyKurt Brock
1968What's So Bad About Feeling Good?J. Gardner Monroe
1970NorwoodBill Bird
1970The Twelve ChairsFather Fyodor
1971Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?Irwin Marcy
1972Every Little Crook and NannyMario Azzecca
1974Blazing SaddlesBuddy Bizarre
1974Only with Married MenMurray WestTV Movie
1975The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter BrotherEduardo Gambetti
1976Silent MovieDom Bell
1977The World's Greatest LoverAdolph Zitz
1978SextetteDan Turner
1978The EndMarlon Borunki
1978The Cheap DetectivePepe Damascus
1979Hot StuffErnie FortunatoAlso director
1979The Muppet MovieBernie the AgentCameo
1980FatsoDominic DeNapoli
1980The Last Married Couple in AmericaWalter Holmes
1980Wholly Moses!Shadrach
1980Smokey and the Bandit IIDr. Frederico "Doc" Carlucci
1981History of the World, Part IEmperor Nero
1981The Cannonball RunVictor Prinzi / Captain Chaos
1982The Best Little Whorehouse in TexasMelvin P. Thorpe
1984Cannonball Run IIVictor Prinzi / Captain Chaos / Don Canneloni
1984Johnny DangerouslyThe Pope
1986Haunted HoneymoonAunt Mary Kate
1987Going BananasBig Bad Joe Hopkins
1987A Taxi Driver in New YorkCaptain T. Favretto
1989The Princess and the DwarfThe King
1990Loose CannonsHarry Gutterman
1991Driving Me CrazyMr. BAlternate title: Trabbi Goes to Hollywood
1992Almost PregnantDoctor Beckhard
1993Robin Hood: Men in TightsDon Giovanni
1994The Silence of the HamsDr. Animal Cannibal Pizza
1994Don't Drink the WaterFather DrobneyTV Movie
1995The Tin SoldierMr. FallonTV Movie
1996Red LineJerry
1997The Good Bad GuysThe Judge
1998Between the SheetsCameo
1998The GodsonThe Oddfather
1999My X-Girlfriend's Wedding ReceptionFather O'Rdeal
1999Boys Will Be BoysChefTV Movie; also director
1999Baby GeniusesLenny
2000The Brainiacs.comIvan Lucre
2001Always Greener
2002It's All About You
2004Girl PlayGabriel
2004Breaking the FifthFlealand Cunchulis

Animation (and other voice work)

List of voice performances in films
1981Peter-No-TailEnglish version
1982The Secret of NIMHJeremy[16]
1986An American TailTiger[16]
1987SpaceballsPizza the Hutt
1988Oliver & CompanyFagin[16]
1989All Dogs Go to HeavenItchy Itchiford[16]
1990Happily Ever AfterThe Looking Glass[16]
1991Dragon and SlippersGoliath the DragonEnglish version[16]
1991An American Tail: Fievel Goes WestTiger[16]
1992The Magic VoyageChristopher ColumbusEnglish version[16]
1993The Skateboard KidRip[16]
1994A Troll in Central ParkStanley[16]
1996All Dogs Go to Heaven 2Itchy Itchiford[16]
1998An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan IslandTigerDirect-to-video[16]
1998An All Dogs Christmas CarolItchy / Ghost of Christmas PastTelevision film[16]
1998The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the RescueJeremyDirect-to-video[16]
2000An American Tail: The Mystery of the Night MonsterTigerDirect-to-video[16]
2000Lion of OzOscar DiggsCredited as Dom DeLuises[16]
2003Remembering MarioMario
2006Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of RhythmMyrin


List of voice performances in television series
1972The Roman HolidaysMr. EvictusEpisode: "Hectic Holiday"
1990Timeless Tales from HallmarkThe EmperorEpisode: "The Emperor's New Clothes"
1991–1992Fievel's American TailsTiger13 Episodes
1993Married... with ChildrenFloyd the DogEpisode: "Change for a Buck"
1994The Magic School BusBakerEpisode: "Get Ready, Set, Dough"
1995The Ren & Stimpy ShowBig KahunaEpisode: "Pixie King/Aloha Hoek"
1997DuckmanThe GovernorEpisode: "A Star Is Abhorred"
1997Cow and ChickenJean-Paul Beaver / Governor #2 / Owl #2
/ Mayor / Frenchman #3 / Neighbor #2
2 Episodes[16]
1998Police Academy: The SeriesZeusEpisode: "Bring Me the Turtle of Commandant Hefilfinger"
1998Hercules: The Animated SeriesBacchusEpisode: "Hercules and the Bacchanal"
1996–1998All Dogs Go to Heaven: The SeriesItchy Itchiford20 Episodes[16]
1998The Wild ThornberrysBaby CondorEpisode: "Flight of the Donnie"[16]
1997–1999I Am WeaselMayor / Frenchman #3 / Neighbor #22 Episodes
1998-1999The Charlie Horse Music PizzaCookie23 Episodes
1999 Stargate SG-1 Urgo Episode 316 (S3E16 Urgo)
2002RugratsDirectorEpisode: "Starstruck/Who's Taffy?"
1997–2003Dexter's LaboratoryKoosy / Koosalagoopagoop4 Episodes
2004Father of the PrideDukeEpisode: "One Man's Meat Is Another Man's Girlfriend"
2005Robot ChickenVictor Prinzim / HimselfEpisode: "Gold Dust Gasoline"
2005Duck DodgersRoy SerpentiEpisode: "All in the Crime Family"[16]
2009Spaceballs: The Animated SeriesEpisode: "Pilot Part 1: The Avenge of Dark Helmet"

Video games


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


  1. "Dom Deluise Biography (1933- )". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  2. Nathan Southern. "Dom DeLuise Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Barbra Archives". Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  5. Streisand, Barbra. "Value". Live at the Bon Soir (1962). Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  6. "All in Love Original Off-Broadway Cast - 1961 Off-Broadway". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  7. "Dom DeLuise Theatre Credits". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  8. Vincent Canby (June 10, 1966). "Movie Review: The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)". The New York Times. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  9. Heather Buckley (March 9, 2010). "Horror at the Oscars Part 2: This Time it's Personal". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  10. "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. 74 (1). July 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
  11. "In The Kitchen with Dom DeLuise". Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  12. McLellan, Dennis (May 6, 2009). "Dom DeLuise dies at 75; actor was a 'naturally funny man'". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California: Tronc. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  13. Grimes, William (May 5, 2009). "Dom DeLuise, Comic Actor, Dies at 75". The New York Times. New York City: New York Times Company. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  14. "Dom DeLuise dies at 75". CNN. June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  15. "Actor, Dom DeLuise dies at 75". Press. May 5, 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  16. "Dom DeLuise - 36 Character Images". Behind The Voice Actors.
  17. Garlen, Jennifer C.; Graham, Anissa M. (2009). Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's Muppets. McFarland & Company. p. 218. ISBN 078644259X.
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