Good night, Captain Chaos.

Dom DeLuise, the big, boistrous comic actor who seemed perpetually on the verge of the giggles as Burt Reynolds' caped crony in the Cannonball Run movies, died in a Los Angeles-area hospital about 6 p.m. on Monday, E! News has confirmed.

He was 75, and had been been ill for a while, a son, Michael DeLuise, told local media outlets.

In a statement, Reynolds said he was "dreading" this news.

"Dom always made everyone feel better when he was around," Reynolds said. "I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone. I will miss him very much."

A clear favorite of Reynolds, with whom he worked in several films and TV shows, DeLuise also was something of a good-luck charm for Mel Brooks, appearing in the director's Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs and more.

Outside of film, DeLuise wrote cookbooks, lent his voice to several cartoon shows and, with his longtime wife, headed an acting clan, which includes sons David DeLuise (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Peter DeLuise (21 Jump Street).

“It’s easy to mourn his death," the DeLuise family said in a statement, "but easier to remember a time when he made you laugh."

(Originally published May 5, 2009, at 10:06 a.m. PT)


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