12:31 06 May 2009
American actor and comedian Dom DeLuise has died aged 75 in Los Angeles following a long illness.
In a statement, his family said: "It's easy to mourn his death, but easier to remember a time when he made you laugh."
Among his numerous film credits were the Mel Brooks comedies 'Blazing Saddles', 'Silent Movie', 'History of the World: Part 1' and 'Robin Hood: Men in Tights'.
He also found fame for his roles alongside Burt Reynolds in the capers 'Smokey and the Bandit II', 'The Cannonball Run' and 'The Cannonball Run II'.
Paying tribute to the late star, director Mel Brooks said: "Dom DeLuise was a big man in every way. He was big in size and created big laughter and joy."
His 'Cannonball Run' co-star Burt Reynolds said that he "never heard him say an unkind word about anyone". The legendary actor added: "I will miss him very much".
In addition to his screen acting, DeLuise was also a director, producer, chef and acclaimed author of numerous books for children.
DeLuise's family has not yet revealed the cause of his death. However, last year he revealed he had been fighting prostate cancer.
Memorial services will be private, according to the actor's official website.
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