DeLuise is best known for his roles in several Mel Brooks‘ classics, such as Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
JustJared.com had the pleasure of interviewing one of his three sons, David, in Puerto Rico earlier this year while he was shooting The Wizards of Waverly Place movie for Disney Channel.
David shared about how he was born into acting: “Well my dad is Dom DeLuise, I basically was born and my dad said, “Be happy, be sad, cry! Now make me laugh!” We would play games as a kid…we would have Sunday get-togethers where Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks, my godparents, were there. There was Carl Reiner, Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, so I was surrounded by very talented and funny people. And somehow, at a young age, I was able to make them laugh, which was good!”
David continued, “When I was little, I said to my dad that I wanted to act, and he said, ‘Well, you can always do that but you can’t always have a childhood, so why don’t you focus on that.’ Now saying that, I auditioned for a part to be his son in a TV movie that he produced, so I was with my dad! And that was my first real taste of acting. The movie was called Happy, where he played a clown who witnesses a murder, and it was a mafia hit. It was based on a true story – they made it look like it wasn’t a hit, and they shot down all these people, and the Italian guy put black makeup on and a wig, and he dressed up as a black guy. But because my dad knew makeup and costuming, he was like, that wasn’t a black guy, it was an Italian guy!”
Lastly, David shared, “So I did a couple of things with my dad and my brother on 21 Jump Street, he directed an episode and he put me in it. Then in 12th grade I decided that I really wanted to act, so I got an agent and was in a couple of commercials, and pretty much out of school I just focused on acting.”
Dominick “Dom” DeLuise (August 1, 1933 – May 4, 2009)
DeLuise died in his sleep 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 following a long battle with cancer.
“It’s easy to mourn his death, but easier to remember a time when he made you laugh.”
Memorial services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to one of the following charities:
The Elixir Fund www.elixirfund.org
The Lily Sanctuary www.lilysanctuary.org
Hydrocephalus Foundation, Inc. www.hydrocephalus.org
The Pearl S. Buck Foundation www.pearl-s-buck.org