Comedian Don Rickles passed away on Thursday afternoon. His quick wit and biting humor also made him a favorite on late night talk shows and Vegas stages.
Getting acting work on stage or in film proved to be hard, but Rickles' comedy career began to soar as he performed in clubs around New York City and eventually started getting booked in places like Miami, where he would meet the man who would change his life: Frank Sinatra.
Rickles trademark humor got animated in the "Toy Story" movies, in which he played the wise-cracking and sarcastic Mr. Potato Head from Andy's toy box. He recalled in his 2007 memoir that at a White House dinner, Barbara Bush teased him about his decision to appear in those films. Rickles' agent, Jack Gilardi, was married to Annette Funicello when Rickles was cast in the Beach Party films.
Starring alongside Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci, Rickles earned rave reviews for his portrayal of a savvy and smart veteran of the gambling industry who could quickly pick out who was trustworthy.
Rickles was best known for his insult-driven comedy.
Carl Reiner would say he knew he had made it in Hollywood when Rickles made fun of him.
Carl Reiner is mourning the loss of his longtime friend, legendary comedian Don Rickles. I remember one Rickles quote where he said whenever he goes onstage, he has a nagging fear that he's not going to offend anybody [laughs]. The specials provided a ideal venue for Rickles to unleash his caustic brand of humor on such visiting dignitaries as Sinatra, Reagan, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mr. T.
He started his comedy career in nightclubs in the 1950s. "And young people - 35, 22 - they go, 'Hey, Rickles is here, the guy who calls you a hockey puck or dummy.' That's something that always keeps you up there". "One of the sweetest and most lovely people I had the pleasure of knowing."- Jimmy Kimmel via Twitter. "One of the funniest men who ever lived". Larry died in December 2011 of pneumonia, at age 41, in what his father described as "the awful heartache of my life".
In 1965 an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson gave him his national breakthrough and he quickly became a regular guest. "But he would not compromise in any way to please them: a very complicated, very important idea".