I've never heard of him.
It's a spoof of the Western genre, about a black cowboy, Bart (Cleavon Little, shown here in his underwear with Chick Vennera), who saves the town of Rock Ridge from an evil railroad company, in spite of everyone's racism.
Along the way Bart makes many friends, including the dimwitted but super-strong Mongo (played by beefy footballer Alex Karas, below, the gay gangster in Victor/Victoria).
But he develops a strong, arguably romantic bond with the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder, left, who would go on to star in another interracial homoromance, Silver Streak). The movie even ends with the two riding off into the sunset together.
Dom Deluise) criticizes them: "It's so simple! Watch me, faggots!"
I was shocked and appalled. Where did this come from? It ruined the whole movie!
Borscht Belt comedian turned tv writer Mel Brooks directed several comedies during the 1970s. They were praised by the artsy crowd at my college for parodying movie genres, for breaking the fourth wall, and for talking about sex -- a lot. The artsy crowd didn't seem to mind the incessant homophobia:
Silent Movie (1976): in a running gag, a passerby sees the men piled atop each other or innocently hugging, and shrieks "Fags!" in disgust.
High Anxiety (1977): psychiatrist Dr. Thorndyke (Mel Brooks) encounters a "fag" at the airport, and a heterosexual "dyke" nurse.
History of the World, Part 1 (1981): there are ridiculed "fag" characters in Roman times and during the French Revolution.
According to Nathan Lane: "Mel's take on homosexuals is that we're these flamboyant extraterrestrials."
Not worth the strong gay subtexts.