RIP Dom DeLuise

Written by on May 5, 2009

Comedic actor Dom DeLuise passed away in his sleep last night as news sources say he was recently suffering from respiratory and kidney problems. He was 75.
[amazonify]B00004U28G[/amazonify]Movie fans of the 80s will always remember him as the great super-hero Captain Chaos/Victor Prizm in the first two Cannonball Run movies, in which he co-starred with Burt Reynolds (the two were a quite interesting comedy team). He also played Emperor Nero in History of the World – Part I and had a memorable cameo as The “Pope” in Johnny Dangerously among other roles in the decade.
DeLuise’s first break was the part of Tinker the Toymaker in the 1954 TV series Tinker’s Workshop. After appearing as a guest on several soon-to-be-considered television classics, the funnyman starred in his own short-lived show, The Dom DeLuise Show. While that might not have worked out as well as he and producers would have liked, DeLuise’s star continued to rise, landing big roles in such projects as The End, Silent Movie and Fatso.

While I have little respect for the way Hollywood treats its heavier actors, DeLuise was not just an excuse for a producer to slip in a few corny “fat jokes.” He was a talented comic in his own right whose talent and on-screen presence stood out to fans and movie-goers who remember how he played the likes of “Captain Chaos,” “Dominick DiNapoli” or any of his several scene-stealing cameos. DeLuise could turn an otherwise ordinary scene into something extraordinarily-wacky with his on-screen antics and superb comic timing, which was learned well by his predecessors like John Belushi and Chris Farley. Still, DeLuise’s talents were rarely matched and he will be greatly missed.

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