There are many ways to remember Dom DeLuise—nervous sidekick, preposterous fraud, "schmo," said William Grimes in The New York Times. But the “pudgy actor" with the "manic grin and air of desperation" will definitely be missed. DeLuise died on Monday at 75, after a career that started with his 1960s TV role as Dominick the Great, “an inept but determined magician,” and included a string of memorable, funny films, including Blazing Saddles and The Cannonball Run.
DeLuise also developed amiable working relationships with both Burt Reynolds and Gene Wilder, said Matt Schudel in The Washington Post, appearing in several films with the actors over the years. And although DeLuise was mostly known for comedy, “he made his film debut in 1964 with a small role in Sidney Lumet's political thriller Fail-Safe.”
DeLuise tried his hand at a lot of things, said the London Daily Telegraph, from directing plays and performing in operas to gardening and restoring antique furniture. He also “branched into cookery writing,” authoring cookbooks and appearing on food programs. Later in his career, he wrote seven children’s books. Dom DeLuise was a multi-talented man, and his work made our lives richer.