One of the greatest comedians in history has passed away. Don Rickles, known for his off-brand humor as well as being successful actor, passed away yesterday from kidney failure at the age of 90.
Donald Jay Rickles was born on May 8, 1926 in Queens, New York. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Rickles decided to pursue acting and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Starting out as a bit part actor in television, Rickles wasn’t getting anywhere, so he turned to becoming a stand-up comedian. Who would have guessed that would have been the ticket he was destined for? Known for his insults, which he started when he fought back against hecklers, earned him the nickname “The Master of Insults” according to Dean Martin.
While Rickles may be known for his off-brand humor and insults, which he took no remorse doing (and rightfully so), he has had his share of serious roles. They included his film debut, 1958’s Run Silent, Run Deep; 1963’s X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes, and even Martin Scorsese’s hit film Casino.
He has also had his share of comic relief in films, including the Beach Party films with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello and playing Mr. Wilson in the straight to video sequel Dennis the Menace Strikes Again in 1998. He also voiced Mr. Potato Head in Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story films.
Rickles is survived by wife Barbara and two children. World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Don Rickles.
As a final tribute, we present a video from YouTube user Patrick Lovell, which has six of Rickles’ roasts from the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast series. It’s Rickles at his finest:
Rest in Peace, Don Rickles.