Maybe I am of a certain age now, but Dom DeLuise was a favorite. And the testimonies of his colleagues–the likes of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner–is enough to guarantee his comedic legacy.
But do they make ’em like that anymore? As the LA Times obit notes, he was born Dominick DeLuise in Brooklyn, the son of Italian immigrants: his father was a city garbage collector, his mother a full-time homemaker. And thoroughly Italian Catholic.
From a CNS brief, which describes him as a “Catholic comic”:
In a 2006 interview with Msgr. James Lisante for the priest’s TV show, “Personally Speaking,” DeLuise told of his fealty for Mary. “People give me Blessed Mothers,” DeLuise said in an interview “I have one here, I have one there. I have them all over the house.” DeLuise noted that the statues give him comfort. “The Blessed Mother is someone that I pray to all the time, and in fact, I use her as a mantra. When I’m in my car and there’s traffic, ‘Hail Mary, full of grace …,'” he said, reciting the complete prayer. “I say it all the time. It calms me down.”