Don Rickles Dies at 90
Legendary funnyman Don Rickles has passed away at the ripe age of 90. Spokesman Paul Shefrin confirmed the tragic news on Thursday as he said that the comedian died of kidney failure in his Los Angeles home surrounded by family and friends.
Rickles perhaps pioneered insult comedy. His uncompromising style did not discriminate from presidents, women icons, Hollywood bigwigs, icons in the industry and ordinary people in his audience. In fact, one of his favorite people to insult was Frank Sinatra, particularly on his rumored connections to the mob.
It was made even funnier because Sinatra took Rickles under his wing when he was just a struggling comic and bouncing from one comedy club to the next. He became a constant hanger-on in the rat pack–with Sinatra himself, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford—in the late 1950s.
In an era of political correctness, Rickles stood out for refusing to tone down his insults. What sets him apart, however, is he’s not afraid to make fun of himself, and how he doesn’t comport to Hollywood’s obsession with good looks.
“I make fun of the world,” Rickles told Larry King once. “You know that. And if you know how to handle that and you treat people — and you make fun of yourself, hey, it’s not offensive.”
Rickles was born as an only child in Jackson Heights in Queens, New York. His father was an insurance salesman while his mother was a homemaker. He also tried to follow in his father’s footsteps after serving two years in the navy. But performing has always been his calling and so he enrolled in the American Academy of the Arts.
He became a constant fixture on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson who was charmed with Rickles’ abrasive comedy, and the rest is history. Rickles is survived by his wife, Barbara, and daughter Mindy. His only son, Lawrence, died in 2011 at just 46 years old.
More in Life
Crash Survivor Runs Marathon with Driver Who Hit Him
In a message of hope and forgiveness, crash survivor Dean Otto sprinted the finish line of this year’s Northern California 13-mile...Oct 19, 2017
Dying Chimpanzee Beams with Delight when Recognizing Old Caretaker
The love between this chimpanzee and her former-caregiver is absolutely heartwarming. Mama, a 59-year-old chimpanzee from the Netherlands Royal Burgers Zoo,...Oct 19, 2017
Dogs Refuse to Leave a 2-Year-Old Boy Lost in a Cornfield
By this point, who can doubt that dogs are man’s best friend? A 2-year-old boy named Mason from Richmond, Minnesota, was...Oct 18, 2017
“Miracle Dog” Reunites with Owners after Wildfire Engulfs their Home
The wildfire that recently engulfed parts of Northern California was also the setting for some real miracles. For starters, there’s the...Oct 18, 2017
ICU Grandpa Finds Happiness Cradling Babies When Parents Leave
This senior citizen is simply inspirational. David Deutchman, a retiree in his senior years, is locally known as the ICU Grandpa...Oct 18, 2017
Mom Creates Eye Patches After Losing Her Eye to Cancer
Toni Crews, a 27-year-old mother of two, learned she was suffering from aggressive cancer in her tear gland after doctors found...Oct 18, 2017
Race Car Driver Saves Stray Dog but Misses Chance to Win
He might have lost the 1st prize gold, but his heart is pure pure gold. Carlos Matos, a professional race car...Oct 17, 2017
90-Year-Old Czech Grandma Hand Paints Houses with Flowers and Turns Her Village Into an Art Gallery
An artistic grandma named Anezka (Agnes) Kasparkova from Louka, Czech Republic spends most of her time expressing creativity by painting flowers....Oct 17, 2017
Teen Misses Homecoming Because Of Cancer, So His Friends Bring The Party To Him
Illness can rob us of important moments in life, and if you’re a teenager, those moments might include things like homecoming...Oct 16, 2017