Legendary Comedian Don Rickles Dies at 90

"Ever since I was a kid, I made fun of people", he said in "Mr. Warmth".

Don Rickles, the insult comic known as "Mr Warmth", has died at age 90. "Rickles would have turned 91 on May 8", his publicist said in a statement to CBS News.

Rickles' last appeared on stage in Las Vegas in late October.

"Whether it's 10 people or 300 people, an audience is still an audience", he said.

Rickles had set out to be a serious actor, enrolling in New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where classmates included Jason Robards. He delighted nightclub audiences, Hollywood royalty and politicians by hurling invective at them, all in good fun. The notoriously hot-tempered Sinatra even became his champion.

But that wasn't the only member of the Rat Pack who took a shine to Rickles. And when he was hot, he was a potent club headliner, insulting his audience with his two key signature phrases "dummy" and "hockey puck".

Dean Cain, Lynda Carter, Jim Gaffigan and others also paid their tributes.

In May 2014 the funnyman was saluted by the likes of David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart in the Spike TV special "One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles". "But don't go by me; I'm drunk".

Beyond the kid-friendly Toy Story films, Rickles was known as a roast comic or insult comic.

Comic actor Jim Carrey tweeted: "Don once begged me for a couple of bucks, then told me to twist myself into a pretzel".

Rickles said he truly fell in love with acting when he appeared in high school plays. President Obama is a personal friend of mine. Rickles guest-starred in Get Smart as Sid, an old war buddy of Max who comes to stay with him.

Rickles published two best-selling memoirs, in 2007 and 2008, and continued to perform stand-up until just before his passing. At the ceremony, he joked: "I've been in this business for 55 years and the biggest award I got was an ashtray from the Friars in NY". Rickles wasn't a young man, but it was still shocking that he died. He also appeared in four "Beach Party" films in the 1960s and provided the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the animated "Toy Story" films. Carson interrupted the filming of Rickles' show "CPO Sharkey" to confront him.


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