Equal opportunity master insulter Don Rickles has died at age 90.
“Mr. Warmth” built a career on his rapid-fire insults, making a living out of making fun of everyone he encountered, and making them laugh right along with him.
Rickles died on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles of kidney failure, publicist Paul Shefrin announced.Sarcastically dubbed "Mr. Warmth," Rickles regaled crowds with his acerbic brand of takedowns, but he was beloved as a regular good guy and devoted family man offstage.He struggled to make a living for decades, but his career took off when Frank Sinatra walked into a club in Miami Beach where he was performing and Rickles greeted him by saying: Make yourself at home Frank. Hit somebody.” The normally hot-tempered Sinatra loved it, and with his endorsement, Rickles began his quick ascent to legendary status.He is beloved for his appearances on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts series, which ran on NBC from the mid-1970s to the mid-80s. Kirk Douglas, Sinatra, Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Mr. T and many others got the Rickles treatment.He was also a frequent guest on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show. Rickles also popped up in movies, opposite Clint Eastwood in Kelly’s Heroes (1970) and opposite Annette Funicello in Pajama Party (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).In 1965, Rickles married Barbara Sklar, who survives him. His son, Larry, died in December of 2011 at age 41. His daughter Mindy, son-in-law Ed, and grandchildren Ethan and Harrison survive him.