Among the many movies my stepfather pirated when I was a kid was Cannonball Run. As a pre-teen, it quickly became one of my favorite movies, most likely due to the bad language, the huge quantities of cleavage, the fast cars, and the fact that my stepfather looked uncannily like Burt Reynolds.

Of all the characters in Cannonball Run, the one I loved the most was Dom DeLuise’s hapless Victor. As I grew up, I continued to have an affection for DeLuise, even as his star fell and he began to market himself as a celebrity chef. I couldn’t help but smile every time I saw his mug in the grocery store on the label of his line of spice mixes.

In the last several years I had almost completely forgotten about DeLuise. Today I learned that he died yesterday at the age of 75.

Dominick "Dom" DeLuise was a regular on the Dean Martin show, made appearances in many Mel Brooks films and, of course, starred as Reynold’s goofy side kick in numerous movies in the late seventies and eighties. His voice gave life to some of the most beloved animated animals of the pre-cg era, and his love of cooking produced two best-selling cookbooks.

He is survived by his wife Carol, his sons Peter, Michael, and David, and his grandchildren, Riley, Dylan, and Jake.

Luckily, we’ll have his extensive body of work to help us remember him. To that end, I present to you the final ten minutes of the amazing Cannonball Run, which not only features DeLuise, but also Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, and Jackie Chan (kicking ass). Plus! A sweet theme from Chuck Mangione:

His recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes after the jump.

The following recipe is from www.domdeluise.com, where you can find his books, videos, artwork and sundry merchandise. It’s been a bit spotty due to high traffic since news of his death.

Dom's Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Try this with your Easter ham

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
½ stick butter
1 banana, sliced
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Boil potatoes until tender, drain and reserve. Return the pot to the stove top over medium heat. Add butter and bananas to the pot. Cook bananas 5 minutes and add the juice of 1 orange to the pot, reserve the zest. Allow the juice to cook out, 1 minute. Add potatoes to the pot and the stock and sugar. Mash potatoes, banana, stock and sugar together until well combined. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest, to your taste. Mash to combine spices and serve.