Belfast Telegraph

Comedy icon Don Rickles dead at 90

The star got a helping hand from Frank Sinatra at the beginning of his career.

Legendary comedian Don Rickles has died at the age of 90.

The actor passed away from kidney failure at his Los Angeles home on Thursday (05Apr17), his longtime representative, Paul Shefrin, has confirmed to

Rickles rose to fame in the 1960s after performing his comedy routines on the club circuit.

Known for his witty insults, he became a close pal of Frank Sinatra after the singer attended one of Rickles' comedy shows in Miami, Florida. Frank helped the funnyman get a foothold on the lucrative Las Vegas variety market and the funnyman went on to headline shows in Sin City.

He made his movie debut alongside Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster in Run Silent, Run Deep in 1958, and went on to score acting roles on TV series like Get Smart, Run for Your Life, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Addams Family, and Gilligan's Island.

Rickles also became a regular guest on America's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Dean Martin Show, and in 1972, he scored his own variety series, The Don Rickles Show. He later appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, and in 2015, returned to the new The Tonight Show to heckle current host Jimmy Fallon.

His other film credits include X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, the Beach Party franchise, Kelly's Heroes with Clint Eastwood, and John Landis' Innocent Blood.

He also voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies.

Rickles would have turned 91 on 8 May (17).

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