The comedy world has lost yet another legend. Don Rickles passed away on April 6, and in his honor we’re taking a look back at his extraordinary life as one of the world’s greatest comedians.
Don Rickles was 90 years old when he died on Thursday morning, April 6, at his family home in Los Angeles, California, reports TMZ. Best known as an “insult comic” from Queens, New York, he had some very A-list fans including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson and Jimmy Fallon. Don was a staple in the comedy world, with his career spanning over the course of nearly six decades, which we’re highlighting right here.
His career in comedy started while he was working at a comedy club in Miami, Florida in the 1950’s. Frank Sinatra came in and Don took a dig at one of his movies, which the “My Way” singer absolutely loved. He soon started telling all of his celebrity friends that had to come see Don, which skyrocketed the young comedian to instant fame. Don was truly something else at the time, because not only did he have a famous fan base but he was also know for not being afraid to take a dig at anyone — no matter who they were or where they came from.
Thanks to Frank, Don soon had a comedy gig in Las Vegas, Nevada, and shortly after that he started acting in films. In the 60’s he became a hilarious staple on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which launched him into a household name. 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 later became a regular roaster on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast specials, then joined the game show Hollywood Squares.
From the 80’s thru the 90’s Don’s star continued to soar. 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.
Don continued his reign as one of the leading men in comedy through the 2000’s and beyond, appearing on a number of hit television shows including Grandfathered. However, in 2014 the comedian finally opened up about why he had decided not to retire, claiming he was still in “good health” and therefore there was no reason for it. Don worked up until the day he died, with tour dates still scheduled throughout 2017 in the months following his death. So sad.
HollywoodLifers — Our thoughts remain with Don’s family, friends and fans during this incredibly difficult time. Please leave your condolences for them in the comments below.