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Don Rickles Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (8)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City, New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (kidney failure)
Birth NameDonald Jay Rickles
Nicknames Mr. Warmth
The Merchant of Venom
Glass Head
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Donald Jay Rickles was born May 8, 1926 in New York. Following the Golden Era of Hollywood, he remained active until early 2017. He got his start in night clubs, toiling for over 20 years, until 1958, when he made his film debut in Run Silent Run Deep (1958). The movie was a big hit. Afterward, Rickles continued acting, starring in films like X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), Bikini Beach (1964), Enter Laughing (1967), and Kelly's Heroes (1970). In 1973, Don became a regular on Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts.

From 1973-84, he appeared frequently on Dean's show, paying tribute to some of his friends, like Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and was even the roast master on the roast for Dean Martin himself. In 1976, he had his own TV series CPO Sharkey (1976), which enjoyed a two year run. After 1984, he slowed down, appearing in a few minor film roles. In 1995, he made a comeback, appearing with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen in Toy Story (1995) in the role of the grouchy Mr. Potato Head. In 1999, he returned as Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story 2 (1999). He died on April 6, 2017, in Los Angeles, California, aged 90. He is interred at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California, in the Courts of Tanach.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: gironda@verizon.net

Spouse (1)

Barbara Rickles (14 March 1965 - 6 April 2017) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Good-natured insulting of the audience and society in general
Short stature
Bald with a comb-over
Portly stocky physique

Trivia (11)

Seen by some as an imitator of Jack E. Leonard.
He was a regular on "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast". He was even a guest of honor on the variety show.
Attended and graduated from Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens, New York. Carroll O'Connor is also an alumnus.
Longtime close friend of Bob Newhart; their families often traveled together over the years.
Aspired to be a serious actor and studied drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) before doing a stand-up comedy. His classmates included Grace Kelly, Anne Bancroft and Jason Robards.
The son of Etta (Feldman) and Max Sidney Rickles, his father was a Russian Jewish immigrant. His mother was born in New York, to Austrian Jewish parents. Don Rickles and his wife were the parents of Mindy Rickles and Larry Rickles, and grandparents of Ethan Mann and Harrison Mann.
Served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Cyrene in World War II.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 17, 2000.
When he guest-hosted the December 13, 1976 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), he accidentally broke the wooden cigarette box which Johnny Carson kept on his desk. When Carson returned to the show the following night and discovered what had happened, he interrupted filming of CPO Sharkey (1976), which Rickles was filming, for a confrontation.
Became known as an insult comedian when he responded to his hecklers. The audience enjoyed these insults more than his prepared material, and he incorporated them into his act.
Although a lifelong Democrat, he performed at the inaugurations of Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush with his friend Frank Sinatra.

Personal Quotes (8)

If I were to insult people and mean it, that wouldn't be funny.
Whatever you do to gain success, you have to hang in there and hope good things happen. Always think positive.
[Asked by Jay Leno if he ever worries that his insult comedy might be too offensive for the audience] You know, every night when I go out on stage, there's always one nagging fear in the back of my mind. I'm always afraid that somewhere out there, there is one person in the audience that I'm NOT going to offend!
[to Frank Sinatra, who arrived during his act] Come on in, Frank. Make yourself at home--hit somebody.
[on Sammy Davis Jr.] You can't get Negro help like that, anymore. Wow, to have a guy who can sing, dance--and dust!
I'm not a big one for jokes. I can't tell a joke, believe it or not. If you gave me a thousand bucks and said, "Don, get up at a party and tell a joke", I'm the worst.
[on Frank Sinatra] When you enter a room, you have to kiss his ring. I don't mind, but he has it in his back pocket.
Some people say funny things - but I say things funny.

Salary (1)

The Kraft Music Hall (1967) $12,500 / episode (1968-69 season)

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

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