Another legend is gone. Hugely influential insult comic and actor Don Rickles has died of kidney failure at the age of 90. Born in Queens, New York in 1926, Rickles embarked on a career in the entertainment industry following a stint in the Navy during World War II. He initially developed his caustic, rapid-fire comedic style as a way to respond to hecklers — earning the nickname “Mr. Warmth” in the process. His ability to bounce off the audience with his jokes (often referring to them as “hockey pucks”) endeared him to crowds across the country, where he became a comedy club staple. Soon, some high-profile friendships with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson followed, and Rickles became a household name through his regular appearances on The Tonight Show and his tireless touring. Over the years, the funnyman showed his range by appearing in films like Run Silent, Run Deep, Casino, and the Toy Story trilogy. Yet it is on the stage where Rickles was most alive, spreading his wit and charm and a sense of humor that was as hilarious as it was biting. He leaves behind some of the funniest material ever written, and countless adoring fans.
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