Legendary comedian Don Rickles passed away this morning from kidney failure. He was 90 years old.
Rickles was best known for his insult-driven comedy. He was also an author and an actor. He famously voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise.
But the comedian’s life began in Manhattan, where he was born in 1926. He attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts in his city, after he served in World War II with the Navy, as reported by Variety.
He started his comedy career in nightclubs in the 1950s. His real break came when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1965. After his big break, he started headlining venues in places such as Vegas.
The comedian occasionally appeared with The Rat Pack, garnering an “honorary Rat Pack” membership.
He toured the country with his comedy show “The Don Rickles Show” and made movies during this time. The variety show received one season on television in 1969. After this, he kept attempting to break in television with shows such as Daddy Dearest and C.P.O. Sharkey.
The funnyman continued to make appearances on television and film and was well-known for his roasting skills. He has roasted stars such as Frank Sinatra and even a President. Check out his hilarious roast of President Ronald Reagan below.
Rickles also has two comedy albums titled Hello Dummy! and Don Rickles Speaks.
His memoir Rickles’ Book was released in 2007.
A John Landis documentary about Rickles, entitled “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project” aired on HBO the same year his book was published and earned Rickles an Emmy award for his performance.
In May 2014, Rickles was honored by other comedy icons, such as David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld in the Spike TV special “One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles.”
Rickles is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 52 years and his daughter Mindy Mann and her husband Ed. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Ethan and Harrison Mann, as reported by E! News.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rickles family at this time.