Actor Dom DeLuise, a wisecracking persona who starred in movies like Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie and The Cannonball Run, has died after a year-long bout with cancer, his family announced Tuesday. He was 75.
DeLuise died Monday in a Santa Monica hospital surrounded by his family.
Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1933 he broke in to television comedy in the 1960's as a regular on the show "The Entertainers".
But he was most famous for his work on several Mel Brooks movies, including "The Twelve Chairs" in 1970, "Blazing Saddles" in 1974, "SpaceBalls" in 1987 and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" in 1993.
He appeared with Burt Reynolds in the trio of car movies "Smokey and the Bandit II" (1980), "Cannonball Run" (1981) and "Cannonball Run II" (1984). His voice was featured in such films as "An American Tail" (1986) and its sequels, "All Dogs Go to Heaven" (1989) and "Oliver & Company" (1988).
"I was dreading this moment," Reynolds said in a statement released to Entertainment Tonight. "Dom always made everyone feel better when he was around. I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. I will miss him very much."