As magician Dominick the Great, he had an assistant, the Gypsy Shegundela (performed by the lantern-jawed Ruth Buzzi). When performing a magic trick, Dom DeLuise would caution the audience, "No applause-a, please. Save-a for-a the end." Since none of his "magic" ever worked without being patently obvious (or being exposed by Shegundela), applause for the tricks was never forthcoming.
I'm actually a thin serious person but I play fat and funny, but only for the movies.
Dominick "Dom" DeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009) was an American actor, comedian, film director, television producer, chef, and author. He was the husband of actress Carol Arthur from 1965 until his death, and the father of actor, writer, pianist, director Peter DeLuise, actor David DeLuise, and actor Michael DeLuise. He had starred in various Universal Animated Studios films, such as All Dogs Go to Heaven and An American Tail.
DeLuise was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian American parents Vincenza "Jennie" (née DeStefano), a homemaker, and John DeLuise, a civil servant (garbage collector). He was the second born and had an older brother named Nicholas "Nick" DeLuise. DeLuise graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. He later attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
DeLuise generally appeared in comedic parts, although an early appearance (in the movie Fail-Safe as a nervous enlisted airman) showed a possible 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 New York Times review, Vincent Canby panned the film but singled out the actor, stating, "he best of the lot, however, is a newcomer, Dom DeLuise, as a portly, bird-brained spy."
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.
DeLuise also lent his voice for 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 along with their respective sequels and spinoff series. He also lent his voice to Fagin in the Walt Disney film Oliver & Company and made 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 just off-camera when these were taped, and his distinctive laugh can be heard loud and clear.)
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). 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 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".
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.
An avid cook and author of several books on cooking, in recent years 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. He was also a friend and self-proclaimed "look-alike" of famous Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme. He also wrote seven children's books.
DeLuise died at age 75 on May 4, 2009, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. He was hospitalized at the time, suffering from kidney failure and respiratory problems due to complications from diabetes and high blood pressure. He died from kidney failure and respiratory complications from cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were buried with his parents in New York City. His family was by his side at the time of his death. His good friend Burt Reynolds made a statement 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." Mel Brooks also made a statement to the same paper, telling them that Dom "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."
Once appeared with all three of his sons, Peter DeLuise, Michael DeLuise and David DeLuise as their father in "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996), in which David had a recurring role as a student.
Highly regarded as a chef, he has published two books of his favorite Italian recipes, "Eat This!" and "Eat This, Too!"
Briefly served as the fourth and last host/performer and instructor on "Tinker's Workshop" (1954) on WJZ/WABC TV Ch. 7 NYC's weekday mornings from 1958 to Friday August 22, 1958. He also appeared on Shari Lewis' "The Shari Lewis Show" (1960) (as bumbling private eye Kenny Ketcham) on NBC TV Saturday mornings from October, 1960 to September, 1962, and on "The Charlie Horse Music Pizza" (1998) (as Cookie) on PBS TV weekday mornings from 1996 to 1998.
Once appeared with all three of his sons--Peter DeLuise, Michael DeLuise and David DeLuise--in the "Vapors" episode of "SeaQuest 2032" (1993), in which Peter and Michael were regular cast members.
He was the author of two children's books: "Charlie The Caterpillar" and "Goldie Locks & The Three Bears: The Real Story!".
Appeared with all three of his sons--Peter DeLuise, Michael DeLuise and David DeLuise--and wife Carol Arthur in Hot Stuff (1979).
In Happy (1983) (TV), appeared with his wife Carol Arthur and his three sons: David DeLuise, Michael DeLuise and Peter DeLuise.
Father-in-law of actress Anne Marie DeLuise.
Was named as "King of Brooklyn" at the Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival in 1984.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 134-135. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387.
He and all three of his sons -- Peter DeLuise, Michael DeLuise and David DeLuise -- all appeared in various episodes of "Stargate SG-1" (1997). Peter was also one of the series' producers and directors.
He had three grandchildren. David's daughters Riley DeLuise and Dylan and Peter's son Jake (b. 2004).
Former father-in-law of Gina Nemo.
Has spoofed The Godfather (1972) in two movies Cannonball Run II (1984) as Don Canneloni and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) as Don Giovanni.
His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 1777 Vine Street.
His father was a garbage collector who spoke only Italian.
Graduated from the School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. At one point, he wanted to be come a teacher, which led him to enroll at Tufts College to study biology.
Met his wife while working in summer stock in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Had hip replacement surgery in 1993.
Broke into show business and TV in the late 1950s in kids shows. In 1958, he took over the role of Tinker the Toymaker in daytime TV's "Tinker's Workshop" (1954), which originally starred the show's creator and first host, Robert Keeshan, better known later as "Captain Kangaroo.".
His comedy idol was Jackie Gleason.
One of three children born to Italian immigrants. His brother and sister are Nick and Ann.
Joined the Cain Park Theatre in Cleveland and spent two seasons at the Cleveland Playhouse in the 1950s.
Was good friends with Mel Brooks, who cast him in several of his movies.
He is mentioned in the song "After The Fire" written by The Who guitarist Pete Townshend, simply stating "...while I was laughing at Dom DeLuise".
Godmother of his son David DeLuise was Anne Bancroft.
Studied Acting with Michael Howard in New York City.
I became a comedian when they laughed at my serious acting.
I was really in this acting thing alone. My father was a peasant, a blue-collar worker, who was amazed that I got paid for what I do. He used to say, 'If you can make money with your mouth, God bless you!'
When I was a kid, if I had a fever, had a cold, had a fight, had a fall, had a cut, was depressed, had a disappointment, fell off a truck, woke up with a headache...no matter what the situation, my mother's solution was always, 'Eat this, it'll make you feel better.'
If you get to do a small part and people notice it...and everybody seemed to enjoy it and notice it, you can't go wrong with that, you know what I mean? If it's short, showy, funny, and they like it or they mention it, then you're home free. If you do a small part and they don't notice you, then you're in trouble...So short, sweet, funny, noticeable, anytime. I don't mind playing the lead - it just means you have to have lunch and dinner there.