Actor Dom DeLuise Dead at 75
Actor, comedian and chef Dom DeLuise died in Santa Monica Monday night surrounded by family, according to his son Michael DeLuise.

He passed away peacefully in his sleep around 6:30 p.m. after a long illness, he said.

Deluise is probably best known for his comedic roles appearing in such classic films as "The Cannonball Run" and "Spaceballs."

DeLuise was born August 1, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York.

He was also nominated for a Golden Globe in 1974 for Best TV Actor in a Musical or Comedy for "Lotsa Luck".

DeLuise was an avid chef and wrote several books on cooking.

Writer-director-actor Mel Brooks particularly admired DeLuise's talent for offbeat comedy and cast him in several of his films, including "The Twelve Chairs," "Blazing Saddles," "Silent Movie," "History of the World Part I" and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights."

DeLuise was also the voice of Pizza the Hutt in Brooks' "Star Wars" parody, "Spaceballs."

The actor also appeared frequently in films opposite his friend Burt Reynolds.

Among them, "The End," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," 'Smokey and the Bandit II," "The Cannonball Run" and "Cannonball Run II."

Because of his passion for food, the actor battled obesity throughout much of his life, his weight reaching as much as 325 pounds at one point.

For years, he resisted the efforts of family members and doctors who tried to put him on various diets.

He finally agreed in 1993 when he needed hip replacement surgery and his doctor refused to perform it until he lost 100 pounds.

He and his family enrolled at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C., and DeLuise lost enough weight for the surgery, although he gained some of it back afterward.

On the positive side, his love of food resulted in 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."

He is survived by his wife and three sons.