The entertainment world lost a legend as popular comedian Don Rickles sadly passed away at the age of 90. His publicist confirmed that Rickles passed away Thursday morning (April 6) at his home in Los Angeles from kidney failure.
Rickles had a star-studded career that spanned over 60 years. Starting in nightclubs in the 1950s, he would soon find himself on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show, which would be the appearance that would launch his career. Later he would headline tours in Las Vegas and Reno.
He was an honorary Rat Pack member, favorite celebrity roast guest, and recently was well known to younger generations for voicing Mr. Potato Head in the successful and much-beloved Toy Story franchise. He would continue to give comedic performances into his late 80s.
Tributes are pouring in from Hollywood from those who knew Rickles. Director Martin Scorsese, with whom Rickles worked with in his 1995 film Casino, said of Rickles and his comedic talent: “Don Rickles was a giant, a legend…and I can hear his voice now, skewering me for being so lofty. Experiencing Don, and tuning into his mind, I witnessed the evolution of his comedy. It was like listening to a great jazz musician wail. Nobody else did what he did. He made comedy into an art form. And like all geniuses, comic or otherwise, he’s irreplaceable.”
In a tweet, Toy Story co-star Tom Hanks wrote: “A god died today. Don Rickles, we did not want to ever lose you. Never.” Singer and actress Barbara Streisand wrote in a tweet that Rickles had “a gentle soul with rapid fire wit.” Comedian James Corden tweeted his admiration for Rickles, saying, “Don Rickles was one the absolute greats. I feel lucky for the times I was ever in his orbit, my thoughts are with his family today x.”
Rickles’ dry sense of humor, quick wit and one-liners made him entirely unforgettable, and he will go on being known as a true legend in the business, one much beloved among family, friends and fans alike.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, his daughter and two grandchildren. ~Alexa Caruso