“Mr. Warmth” forged a career when he turned the table in his hecklers, going on to insult everyone he encountered — even Frank Sinatra.
Legendary comic Don Rickles, a rapid-fire insulting machine who for six decades earned quite a living making fun of people of all creeds and colors and everyone from poor slobs to Frank Sinatra, has died. He was 90.
Rickles died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles of kidney failure, publicist Paul Shefrin announced.
Sarcastically nicknamed “Mr. Warmth,” Rickles had mock disdain for stars, major public figures and all those who paid to see him, tweaking TV audiences and Las Vegas showroom crowds with his acerbic brand of takedown comedy. A good guy and devoted husband away from the stage, Rickles the performer heartlessly laid into everyone he encountered — and they loved it.
After toiling in relative obscurity for years as a more conventional stand-up comedian, Rickles unwittingly discovered his biggest laughs came when he turned the table on his hecklers. His career then skyrocketed after he insulted the hot-tempered Sinatra, who normally did not take kindly to such treatment.