Dom DeLuise, a pudgy actor whose manic grin and air of desperation added comic bounce to films like “The Twelve Chairs,” “Blazing Saddles” and “Cannonball Run,” died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 75 and lived in Pacific Palisades.
The Associated Press reported that his son Michael had told a television and radio station in Los Angeles that his father had died after a long illness.
Mr. DeLuise first made his mark on television in the early 1960’s as Dominick the Great, an inept but determined magician trying desperately to maintain his poise as one trick after another failed. He created the character for “The Garry Moore Show” and brought it to the CBS variety series “The Entertainers,” where the ensemble cast included Bob Newhart and Carol Burnett, and “The Dean Martin Summer Show.”
I'll have more about Dom DeLuise, always one of my favorites, in the next few days. But for now, here he is as Dominick the Great in his first appearance on 'The Dean Martin Show':