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Toy Story and Casino legend Don Rickles dies aged 90

07 April 2017

"Emmy-Award winning iconic comedian Don Rickles passed away at his home Los Angeles this morning as a result of kidney failure".

"In lieu of flowers, Don Rickles' family has requested that people drop their trousers and fire a rocket", Patton Oswald tweeted. He mastered a take-no-prisoners style of stand-up comedy - blasting hecklers as "hockey pucks", most famously - that earned him the nicknames "Mr. Warmth" and "The Merchant of Venom".

He was the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise and was working on Toy Story 4 at the time of his death. Ironically, the things Don Rickles said many times to many people throughout his career were things that would have gotten people like Howard Stern or Bill O'Reilly or Don Imus raked over the coals and vilified career and personal wise.

Tom Hanks called Rickles a "god", and expressed a collective grief for his loss.

For his standup act, Rickles would begin a show by charging on stage and berating the people sitting down front. At the ceremony, he joked: "I've been in this business for 55 years and the biggest award I got was an ashtray from the Friars in NY".

But it was a perpetually bemused Carson who cemented Rickles' stature by engaging him in ad-libbed banter, and Rickles was forever grateful.

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"Anyone who knows him knows he's not a racist", the spokesman told Politico then.

"Billy Sherbert is a combination of guys I've known", Rickles said, according to production notes published by AMC.

He made his film debut in the 1958 drama Run Silent Run Deep and became a regular on Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts, as well as appearing on a number of late-night talk shows. Rickles, naturally, did not spare the president ("Am I going too fast for you, Ronnie?" he asked) and considered that performance among the highlights of his career.

Rickles returned for "Toy Story 2" in 1999 and "Toy Story 3" in 2010, though it's now unclear if he had recorded his voice work for "Toy Story 4" (due out in 2019) before his death.

Rickles was born and raised in Queens, New York. Love to his wife and their family and friends. His funeral will be private, his publicist says, and requests donations in his memory to the Larry Rickles Endowment Fund at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Rickles got his start in entertainment doing stand up, working in night clubs in the 1940s and '50s.