American comedian Don Rickles, who starred in Casino and was the voice of Mr Potato Head in the Toy Story movies, has died aged 90. Rickles died of kidney failure on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, publicist Paul Shefrin announced.
The comic was famous for his ready quips, putting down all he met and earning the ironic nickname “Mr Warmth”. Rickles, who said he developed his brand of humorous mockery because he was no good at telling traditional jokes, had recently postponed some performances. For more than half a century, he headlined casinos and nightclubs from Las Vegas to Atlantic City and appeared often on late-night TV talk shows.
One of his most famous put downs was delivered to Frank Sinatra in a Hollywood Club. He told the singing star “Make yourself at home Frank. Hit somebody”. Sinatra became a long-time supporter of Mr Rickles even inviting him to perform alongside him at Ronald Reagan’s second Inaugural Ball. Rickles did not hesitate to zing the commander-in-chief, asking, “Is this too fast for you, Ronnie?”