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Comedian Don Rickles, best known for his acerbic insult comedy and roles on stage and screen has died at the age of 90 from kidney failure according to his reps.
The legendary comedian forged his career by turning the tables on hecklers, and insulting everyone he came in contact with - even the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra. For six decades, "Mr. Warmth" mocked stars, public figures and anyone brave enough to come see him at his show.
After insulting the famously touchy Frank Sinatra, Rickles' career took off with Sinatra's endorsement. The 5'6" paunchy comedian would go on to appear in specials like Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts along with multiple appearances on Johnny Carson, becoming one of The Tonight Show's most-frequent guests. His success also earned him headlining acts in Vegas thanks to Sinatra's endorsement.
Rickles was also a favorite of Hollywood casting directors who put him in movies with Clint Eastwood, Annette Funicello, and Martin Scorsese. His first major role was when he landed a part alongside Clark Gable in the submarine drama Run Silent, Run Deep. Only two years later, Rickles was cast The Rat Race with Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds.
Born in Queens, New York on May 8th, 1926, Rickles served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After completing his billet, studied acting, eventually graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Rickles is survived by his wife of more than forty years, Barbara Sklar.