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Don Rickles

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Also Known As: Donald Jay Rickles Died:
Born: May 8, 1926 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: comedian, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

The Merchant of Venom. The Master of Insults. Mr. Warmth. These were just a few of the labels given to actor and comedian Don Rickles, who in the course of a decades-long career on stage, film and television came to define the tone and persona of the insult comic. But despite his withering barrage of put-downs, Rickles remained a favorite of celebrities and audiences alike, thanks to both an unflaggingly quick wit and a genuine affection for his targets. Those qualities where always on display in one form or another, but never so hilariously than when he was a regular fixture on the celebrity roast circuit in the 1960s and 1970s. Meanwhile, Rickles went from the comic stage to film with roles in "The Rat Race" (1960) and "Muscle Beach Party" (1964), and later had a co-starring turn as a hustling supply sergeant in "Kelly's Heroes" (1970). While largely absent from the big screen over the next two decades in order to focus on television, which included numerous appearances on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (NBC, 1962-1992), Rickles made something of a comeback with a high profile role in "Casino" (1995) while voicing Mr. Potato Head in the "Toy Story" franchise. In the next century, he...

The Merchant of Venom. The Master of Insults. Mr. Warmth. These were just a few of the labels given to actor and comedian Don Rickles, who in the course of a decades-long career on stage, film and television came to define the tone and persona of the insult comic. But despite his withering barrage of put-downs, Rickles remained a favorite of celebrities and audiences alike, thanks to both an unflaggingly quick wit and a genuine affection for his targets. Those qualities where always on display in one form or another, but never so hilariously than when he was a regular fixture on the celebrity roast circuit in the 1960s and 1970s. Meanwhile, Rickles went from the comic stage to film with roles in "The Rat Race" (1960) and "Muscle Beach Party" (1964), and later had a co-starring turn as a hustling supply sergeant in "Kelly's Heroes" (1970). While largely absent from the big screen over the next two decades in order to focus on television, which included numerous appearances on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (NBC, 1962-1992), Rickles made something of a comeback with a high profile role in "Casino" (1995) while voicing Mr. Potato Head in the "Toy Story" franchise. In the next century, he remained active in stand-up comedy and was the subject of the documentary "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project" (HBO, 2007), which went behind the scenes to reveal Rickles as an engaging personality who was indeed filled with warmth, humor and humanity.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Zookeeper (2011)
2.
 Toy Story 3 (2010)
4.
 Baby-O (2007)
5.
 Aristocrats, The (2005) Himself
6.
 Wool Cap, The (2004) Ira
7.
 Toy Story 2 (1999) Voice Of Mr Potato Head
8.
 Quest for Camelot (1998) Voice Of 'Cornwall' The Two-Headed Dragon
9.
 Dirty Work (1998) Hamilton
10.
 Dennis the Menace Strikes Again (1998) Mr Wilson
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Served in the U.S. Navy in World War II; honorably discharged in 1946
:
Appeared as stand-up comedian in nightclubs in the U.S.
:
Big break came at the Slate Brothers, a Los Angeles nightclub
1958:
Feature film debut in the submarine drama "Run Silent, Run Deep"
1964:
Appeared in the popular "Beach Party" film series with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in the 1960s
1965:
First appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (NBC)
1967:
Made frequent appearances on "The Dean Martin Show" (NBC) and became a fixture on Martin's roast specials
1968:
Released the live comedy album <i>Hello, Dummy!</i>
1968:
Starred in his own variety show "The Don Rickles Show" (ABC) with Pat McCormick as his sidekick
1970:
Had a notable role as the con man Sgt. Crapgame in the hit film "Kelly's Heroes"
1972:
Starred in the CBS sitcom "The Don Rickles Show"
1976:
Played title role on NBC sitcom "C.P.O. Sharkey"
:
Performed with singer Steve Lawrence in several Las Vegas concerts in the early 1980s
1983:
Co-hosted (with Steve Lawrence) the short-lived ABC series "Foul-Ups, Bleeps & Blunders"
1985:
Performed with Frank Sinatra at Ronald Reagan's Second Inaugural Ball
1992:
Received critical praise for his dramatic role in John Landis' "Innocent Blood"
1993:
Starred in another short-lived sitcom "Daddy Dearest" (Fox) with comedian Richard Lewis
1995:
Returned to features as Robert De Niro's trusted colleague in Martin Scorsese's "Casino"
1995:
Lent his voice to the character of Mr. Potato Head in the Pixar film "Toy Story"
1996:
First appearance at NYC's Carnegie Hall
1999:
Once again voiced the character of Mr. Potato Head for "Toy Story 2"
2000:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (October 17)
2004:
Cast opposite William H. Macy in the TNT special "The Wool Cap" as an elderly tenant
2007:
Published memoir <i>Rickles' Book</i>
2007:
Received first Emmy for HBO documentary "Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project," directed by John Landis
2010:
Reprised the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the animated feature "Toy Story 3"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Newtown High School: Queens , New York -
American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York -

Notes

"I've been hot, I've been lukewarm, I've been freezing, but I've always been a headliner. The young comedians always ask me, what's the secret for staying around. I tell them, there is no secret--just stay around. Longevity is the most important thing." --Don Rickles in New York Post, November 27, 1995.

"Someone said to me that these two movies ["Toy Story" and "Casino"] were a good career move. What career? I'm 69 years old. My only career is staying alive. Anything else is a bonus at this point." --Rickles to New York Post, November 27, 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Barbara Rickles. Secretary. Married on March 14, 1965.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Max Rickles. Insurance salesman.
mother:
Etta Rickles. Deceased.
daughter:
Mindy Beth Rickles. Born in June 1966; married executive Edward Mann in 1997; has two children.
son:
Lawrence Corey Rickles. Born on May 12, 1970.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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