Don Rickles, comedy legend, is dead at 90

Don Rickles speaks at the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Shirley MacLaine on June 7, 2012 in Culver City, California.

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Last Updated Apr 6, 2017 3:30 PM EDT

Don Rickles, a stand-up comedy legend and pioneer of insult humor, has died at the age of 90, his reps confirmed Thursday. 

“Emmy-Award winning iconic comedian Don Rickles passed away at his home Los Angeles this morning as a result of kidney failure. Rickles would have turned 91 on May 8,” his publicist said in a statement. “Rickles also had great success as an actor and best-selling author. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, as well as their daughter Mindy Mann and her husband Ed, and Rickles’ two grandchildren, Ethan and Harrison Mann.”

“Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to the Larry Rickles Endowment Fund at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.”

Rickles was born in New York City on May 8, 1926. He served in the Navy in World War II and studied acting at New York’s Academy of Dramatic Arts. Rickles went on to have a career that spanned six decades, with his uproarious live shows continuing into his late 80s. 

An honorary member of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack, he was a frequent quest on late-night talk shows, with Johnny Carson affectionately nicknaming him “Mr. Warmth” for his caustic brand of humor. 

Onscreen, Rickles was best known for films such as “Run Silent, Run Deep,” “The Rat Race,” “Kelly’s Heroes” and “Casino,” and he gave voice to Mr. Potato Head in Pixar’s “Toy Story” films.