Dom DeLuise: The Funnyman Mel Brooks & Burt Reynolds Relied On

By Rebeka Knott
Dom DeLuise having a laugh, and portraying the not-amused Emperor Nero in 'History Of The World, Part I.' Source: Getty/Moviepix; IMDB

Jolly and indulgent actor Dom DeLuise was a mainstay of '70s and early '80s film comedies, strongly associated with Mel Brooks and Burt Reynolds. Some movies were funnier than others, but one thing was always abundantly clear: Dom DeLuise was having a blast. Whether he was playing Captain Chaos in a Cannonball Run movie or the slovenly Emperor Nero in History Of The World, Part I (1981), he committed to his role like the great funnyman he was. He was a big man who endured, or perhaps relished, fat jokes his entire career -- anything for a laugh. After a career in stage, TV, movie and vice acting, DeLuise contracted cancer and died, after a short battle with the disease, in 2009.