Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Iconic Comedian Don Rickles Dies At 90

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

Legendary comedian Don Rickles died Thursday at 90, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The cause of death was kidney failure, according to Rickles' publicist.

5b2c32214488b3000926fba2-original.jpg


1973 publicity photo. (Wikimedia Commons)
The honorary Rat Pack member whose career spanned six decades was born in New York and studied acting after serving in the Navy during World War II. Rickles was best known as an insult comic. He earned the nicknames "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth" for his abrasive style.According to Variety, he started appearing in nightclubs in the 1950s, but didn't see his big break until 1965, when he made his first appearance on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. He would go on to appear on the show more than a hundred times.

His long list of television credits include everything from Gilligan's Island to The Twilight Zone, and he appeared in dozens of movies over the last half-century, ranging from the popular 1960s Beach Party series to Casino (1995). He also provided the voice for Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies.

Support for LAist comes from

He is survived by his wife Barbara, a daughter and a son, and two grandchildren.