Don Rickles: A Comedic Genius in Movies

Don Rickles: A Comedic Genius in Movies is a blog that discusses the comedic talent of Don Rickles.

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Don Rickles was born on May 8, 1926 in New York City. He was the son of Max Rickles, a Jewish German immigrant, and Etta Rickles, an English-born Jew. When he was four years old, his family moved to Queens. He attended Jackson High School, where he excelled in sports. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Philippines during World War II. When he returned home, he attended Towson State Teachers College (now Towson University) in Maryland on the G.I. Bill.

Rickles began his career as a stand-up comedian in nightclubs in New York and Los Angeles in the 1950s. He developed his distinctive style of insult comedy by working with such established comics as Mickey Rooney and Jerry Lewis. In 1957, he made his television debut on The Steve Allen Show. His film debut came in 1958 with a small role in Run Silent Run Deep starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Rickles appeared in a number of films including Kelly’s Heroes (1970), The Godfather Part II (1974), and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). He also had guest spots on popular television shows such as The Lucy Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart, and Gilligan’s Island.

In 1972, Rickles began appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His appearances on Carson’s show helped to boost his career by making him more recognizable to mainstream audiences. He went on to make numerous other television appearances over the course of his career including parts on shows like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hot in Cleveland, Murphy Brown, New Girl ,and Toy Story 4 . In 2013, he was given his own TV Land sitcom called , but it only lasted one season due to poor ratings . Despite this setback ,Rickles continued to perform stand-up comedy until shortly before his death .

On April 6th 2017 at the age of 90 , Don Rickles died from kidney failure at his home in Los Angeles . Following news of his death , tributes pour edin from both fellow comedians as well celebrities from all walks of life . Jimmy Kimmel who frequently had Rickles as a guest on his show said that “Don once joked that if anyone ever wanted to know what acting was like , they should spend five minutes with an audience because that’s what it is …It goes by so fast that it’s like living life at warp speed… And Don lived life at warp speed […] I will never see another performer like Don.” Steve Carell who worked with Rickles on the 2015 film Minions said that “I considered him not only a comic genius but also an iconic figure within comedy …He created an entire style of comedy… When you saw Don perform—whether it was five people or 500 people—you saw perfection.” Barbra Streisand tweeted that shewas “So saddened by news about #DonRickles – amazing talent & brilliant wit! One truly original & beloved entertainer!”

Early Life and Career

Don Rickles was born on May 8, 1926, in New York City. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland and Austria. Rickles attended high school on Long Island before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served as a typist in the Pacific theater and began honing his comedic skills by entertaining his shipmates.

After the war, Rickles moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in show business. He started out working the nightclub circuit, where he developed his trademark style of insulting audience members. In 1958, he made his television debut on The Steve Allen Show. His caustic wit soon landed him appearances on other popular shows, including The Twilight Zone and Get Smart.

Rickles’ film career began in 1959 with a small role in Run Silent Run Deep. He went on to appear in dozens of movies, including Kelly’s Heroes (1970), The Cannonball Run (1981), and Toy Story (1995). He also had a successful Las Vegas act and continued to perform well into his 80s.

Rickles passed away on April 6, 2017, at the age of 90.

Stand-up Comedy

Rickles’ brand of comedy was based on insulting people and making them feel uncomfortable, which eventually led to him being nicknamed “The Merrick” or “Mr. Warmth”. He started his career in the 1950s as a stand-up comic in New York City, appearing on “The Tonight Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show”. He made his film debut in 1960 with a small role in “Run Silent, Run Deep”. His first leading role came in 1964 with the film “X-15”, which was followed by roles in films such as “Kiss Me, Stupid” (1964), “Beach Blanket Bingo” (1965), and “Toy Story” (1995).

Film Career

Don Rickles began his movie career in the late 1950s. His Early film roles were mostly bit parts or supporting roles in comedies. In 1963, he had a small but significant role as a soldier in “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” From there, he went on to star in dozens of movies including ” Kelly’s Heroes,” “The Cannonball Run,” “Toy Story,” and “Casino.” For many years, Rickles was one of the most in-demand character actors in Hollywood.

Although he is best known for his comedic roles, Rickles also appeared in a number of serious dramas including “Run Silent Run Deep,” “ngel Heart,” and “Flags of Our Fathers.” In recent years, he has continued to work steadily in film and television. Some of his more recent credits include “ER,” “The Life and Times of Tim,” and “Toy Story 4.”

Throughout his long career, Rickles has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. He has been friends with Frank Sinatra since they met in the 1950s. He has also worked with Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and many other Hollywood legends.

Television Career

Rickles began his television career in the 1950s. His first appearance was on The Jack Benny Program in 1957. He later appeared on The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, Get Smart, The Munsters, Gilmore Girls, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Rickles’ movie career began in 1958 with run supporting roles in several films such as X-Mas Vacation and Kelly’s Heroes. His first leading role came in the form of an officer-training school cadet in the 1964 film Beach Party. From there he would go on to star or appear in over 70 more movies including Superman (1978), Toy Story (1995), and Casino (1995).

Late Career

Don Rickles was a comedic genius who appeared in many movies during his long career. Although he was often typecast as a tough guy, he played a wide range of roles and was equally comfortable in dramatic or comedic parts. He continued to work until his death in 2017, appearing in such films as Toy Story 4 (2019) and voicing the character Mr. Potato Head.

Personal Life

Don Rickles was born on May 8, 1926 in Queens, New York, to Max Rickles and Etta Feldman. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Poland and his mother was born in the United States to a Jewish family. He had two older brothers, Manny and Philip. His family was middle class and he attended public schools in Queens.

Rickles’ father died when he was 13 years old and he stopped attending school soon after. He began working at various jobs, including as a dockworker and printer. He also became involved in crime and was arrested several times for petty theft and assault. In 1945, he was drafted into the United States Army and served during World War II. After his discharge, he returned to New York City where he worked as a stand-up comedian.

Rickles’ career took off in the early 1950s when he began appearing on television shows such as “The Jack Paar Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He also had roles in several movies, including “Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958) with Clark Gable and “X-15” (1961) with Tony Curtis. He gained a wider audience in the 1960s with his appearances on “The Dean Martin Show” and “The Hollywood Squares.” He became well-known for his insult comedy, which often targets members of the audience or other celebrities.

In 1966, Rickles began appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and became a regular guest on the show. He continued to appear on television and in movies throughout his career. Some of his later work includes voice roles in the “Toy Story” movies (1995-2010) and hosting the game show “Family Feud” (1988-1989).

Rickles died of kidney failure on April 6, 2017 at the age of 90.


Don Rickles was one of the most popular and beloved comedians of his generation. His career spanned more than six decades, during which time he appeared in dozens of movies and television shows. He was best known for his sharp wit and rapid-fire delivery, which often earned him the nickname “Mr. Warmth.”

Rickles began his career in the 1950s, working as a stand-up comedian in nightclubs across the country. He soon began appearing on television, making guest appearances on shows such as The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. He also appeared in a number of movies throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including Kiss Me Stupid (1964), Kelly’s Heroes (1970), and Casino (1995).

Rickles continued to work well into his later years, making occasional appearances on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show with David Letterman. He also continued to perform live stand-up comedy until shortly before his death in 2017.

Don Rickles was a true comedy legend, and his impact on the entertainment industry will be felt for many years to come.

Awards and Honors

Don Rickles won a Prime Time Emmy Award in 2008 for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for his work on the show Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project. In 2014, he was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In February 2015, it was announced that Rickles would receive the prestigious Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Genius at the 2015 Television Critics Association Awards. In May 2015, it was announced that Rickles would be receiving theSpike TV Guy’s Choice Awardfor “Funniest Voice.”

Further Reading

Don Rickles: A Comedic Genius in Movies is a book by David Ritz that explores the life and work of comedian Don Rickles. The book covers Rickles’ early life and career, his major influences, and his impact on American comedy.

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