'Mr Potato Head' Don Rickles dies at age of 90

Tomas Mccoy
April 8, 2017

Legendary insult comic Don Rickles, who earned a whole new generation of fans as Mr Potato Head in Toy Story, has died aged 90.

The highly influential comedian, renowned for his lightning-quick wit and observational comedic insults, died on Thursday (April 6th) at his home in Los Angeles, his publicist told The Hollywood Reporter.

He famously got Sinatra's attention at one of his shows when he spotted the "Chairman of the Board" in the audience and shouted out to him: "Make yourself at home Frank". "Not that you had to like it, but you had to be under a rock somewhere not to get it". "I'm already crying", Kimmel said at the start of the show.

After conquering Vegas, Rickles proved the naysayers wrong who'd said he was too rancid, too raw for television when in 1965 he appeared on Johnny Carson's show.

Don then added: "Frank, believe me, I'm telling you this as a friend: Your voice is gone".

"There's nothing better than getting burned by Don Rickles".

The news of Rickles' death came as a shock to several celebrities, who took to Twitter to mourn. "People always wanted to hear Don tell Sinatra stories... but I told Don - this is honestly I how felt - the Sinatra stories are great, but if Sinatra was here, I'd be asking him for stories about you".

The tireless Rickles left behind a 10-episode TV series, "Dinner with Don", in which De Niro, Billy Crystal, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler and others joined him to eat and chat. Rickles was born in New York City on May 8, 1926, to Max and Etta Rickles, according to an official biography from the comedian's spokesperson.

Actor Bob Newhart issued a statement in honour of Rickles. But he could feel that this career had no future for him so he enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Don is survived by his wife Barbara, their daughter Mindy Mann and two grandchildren. Alongside his role in Martin Scorsese's 1995 classic, Casino, the stand-up was set to reprise his role as Mr. Potato Head in 2019's Toy Story 4. Lawrence Rickles died of complications from pneumonia in 2011. His family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Larry Rickles Endowment Fund at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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