Abrasive comic Don Rickles, the honorary Rat Pack member and celebrity roast guest whose career spanned six decades, has died. He was 90. Rickles died Thursday morning at his home in Los Angeles from kidney failure, his longtime publicist Paul Shefrin confirmed. He would have turned 91 on May 8.
Though he appeared in films and on television, Rickles’ mainstay was always nightclub performances, appearing in Las Vegas and elsewhere into his late 80s. He also found late success as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” films, which were exceptional box office performers, and popped up frequently on late night talk shows.
Donald Jay Rickles was born in Manhattan and studied acting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after serving in the Navy during WWII. He began appearing in nightclubs during the ’50s but didn’t really break through until his first appearance on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” in 1965.
In the meantime, he worked in movies. After his debut in WWII submarine drama “Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958), he appeared in the Tony Curtis-Debbie Reynolds romantic comedy “The Rat Race” and various AIP beach movies with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.
Don Rickles, a legendary comedian and actor, voiced Mr. Potato Head in the 'Toy Story' movies. Rest in peace… pic.twitter.com/RWIMXk2T8l
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 6, 2017