Dominick "Dom" DeLuise passed away yesterday, and it makes me sad. Dom played a large (no pun or disrespect intended) role in my formative years as a consumer of pop culture. I remember him most fondly for two movies in particular: 1) his chummy portrayal of Victor Prinzim in Cannonball Run (and it's sequel "II") and as the crow Jeremy in the animated classic The Secret of Nimh.
At the time, the early 80's, he seemed to appear in almost everything that came to the screen (at least in my limited purview): the oft-forgotten, Dudley Moore biblical farce Wholly Moses!, The Muppet Movie, Smokey and the Bandit II (where he further cemented his relationship as Burt Reynold's on-screen best friend), Johnny Dangerously, Spaceballs and the movie for which he got most of his serious accolades, Fatso. Perhaps what I loved most about those movies were the outtakes at the end of the Cannonball Run movies, the first time time the curtain was ever pulled back from the Hollywood wizard for me. Dom always seemed to be having such a great time, I wanted to be a part of the fun.
Like Tim Russert and Scatman Crothers before him, I'll miss Dom DeLuise as if I had actually known him, and the world will be a little less funny without him. Rest in Peace, Mr. DeLuise.