Legendary comic Don Rickles passes away at 90

Legendary comic Don Rickles passes away at 90
On the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1978. (Image: Screen grab of YouTube video)

[Ed. – One of those you could “get” as funny, even when you were a kid.  He came from a different era, but had a timeless gift.  R.I.P.]

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. …

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. …

In May 2014 the funnyman was saluted by the likes of David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart in the Spike TV special “One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles.”

Survivors include Rickles’ wife of 52 years, Barbara; a daughter; and two grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Larry Rickles Endowment Fund at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

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