FILE - In this March 7, 2010 file photo, Don Rickles arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood, Calif. Rickles died Thursday, April 6, 2017, of kidney failure at his Los Angeles home.
Don Rickles, the legendary comedian whose acid-tongued insults and cantankerous persona delighted audiences for generations, died on Thursday. Rickles, who gained widespread fame for his repeated appearances on late night talk shows, is best known for his comedic insults and his role as Mr. Potato Head in 'Toy Story.' The best-selling author and Emmy Award victor had recently been in poor health and had already canceled his next show on May 6. Following his mass success in films and as a late night guest, Don was given his own show, The Don Rickles Show, though it only ever aired 13 episodes. He returned to Vegas for a residency, filmed movies with actors like Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland, then voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise for kids. "C.P.O. Sharkey", in which he played an acid-tongued Navy chief petty officer, fared slightly better, airing from 1976 to 1978. Often the target for hecklers, Rickles steadily became known as an "insult comic", finding that patrons responded more to his piss and venom rather than the scripted funny-bone-ticklers he attempted to deliver night after failed night.
That career didn't take off and Rickles enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Rickles, who said he devised his brand of mockery-based humour because he was no good at telling traditional jokes, had developed a bacterial infection in recent months that led him to cancel a number of performances. "Then he finished by saying, 'May your soul be with us forever.'".
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TV host Jimmy Kimmel tweeted: "90 years with Don Rickles weren't enough. We loved you so".
Rickles is survived by his wife, Barbara Sklar, and their two children, Mindy and Larry.
Singer Barbra Streisand tweeted: "Being skewered by Don Rickles was side-splitting amusing".
But it was a perpetually bemused Carson who cemented Rickles' stature by engaging him in ad-libbed banter, and Rickles was forever grateful. Funeral services will be closed to the public.