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http://www.cbc.ca/arts/film/story/2009/05/05/obit-deluise-dom.html

Actor and comedian Dom DeLuise, who developed a reputation as an avid amateur chef along with his prolific entertainment career, has died at age 75.

DeLuise died in his sleep in Santa Monica, Calif., on Monday night following a long illness, according to his son, Michael.

Born in New York, DeLuise discovered his love of performance early on and eventually graduated from the famed School of Performing Arts in Manhattan.

He got his start in theatre — off-Broadway and, later, Broadway — and moved on to TV comedy-variety shows, with his affable nature helping him develop a busy acting career. He became a regular foil for actor friends such as Burt Reynolds and Dean Martin, as well as for director Mel Brooks.

Brooks called on DeLuise often for his comedies, including The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

The portly actor was also often cast opposite his friend Reynolds, appearing in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Cannonball Run, its sequel and Smokey and the Bandit II.

Missed by Reynolds

"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," Reynolds told American celebrity show Entertainment Tonight.

DeLuise's prolific career spanned movies, television shows, cartoons, Broadway plays and even a regular gig as Frosh the Jailer in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Die Fledermaus.

Food was also a passion for DeLuise, who made morning TV appearances demonstrating his favourite recipes and wrote two successful cookbooks: 1988's Eat This — It Will Make You Feel Better! and 1997's Eat This Too! It'll Also Make You Feel Good.

However, his love of eating also led to a longtime battle with obesity.

DeLuise is survived by his wife, Carol, and his three sons, Peter, Michael and David — who all became actors.

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