Don Rickles dead at 90

Apr 06, 2017 by Ian Evans

Comedy legend Don Rickles, whose insults earned him the title of The Merchant of Venom, has died at the age of 90. Though he was known for his jabs, friends of the comic remembered a man of great kindness and love.

Close friend Bob Newhart said that, “he was one of the kindest, caring and most sensitive human beings we have ever known. We are devastated and our world will never be the same. We were totally unprepared for this.”

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who had become friends with Don and his wife Barbara, was in tears as he started his show Thursday night. He said that, “I know it sounds crazy to say he was too young, but he was. Because he was youthful and funny and sharp and generous.”

The U.S. Department of Defense tweeted a wish of “Fair winds and following seas…” to the U.S. Navy veteran. Rickles served in the Navy during World War II.

The legendary comic, who was probably one of the few people who could insult Frank Sinatra and get away with it, was also an actor, appearing in films like Run Silent, Run Deep, Kelly’s Heroes, and Casino. Younger filmgoers will know him as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story films.