Comic Don Rickles has died Thursday aged 90

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After years, in 1985, when Sinatra was asked to perform at Ronald Reagan’s second Inaugural Ball, he insisted that Rickles accompany him for a comedy routine. Rickles did not spare the president (“Am I going too fast for you, Ronnie?” he asked) and considered that performance among the highlights of his career. Rickles honed his reputation in numerous appearances on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts that ran on NBC from the mid-1970s to the mid-80s. The specials provided a perfect venue for Rickles to unleash his caustic brand of humor on such visiting dignitaries as Sinatra, Reagan, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mr. T. More recently, he was a regular guest on Late Show With David Letterman, in which the CBS host treated Rickles like royalty. Rickles intermittently played in movies, highlighted by Kelly’s Heroes (1970), where he co-starred with Clint Eastwood as Sgt. Crapgame. He played beach bunny Annette Funicello in such movies as Pajama Party (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), appeared as a Vegas casino manager in Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995) and voiced the cranky Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story films. t age 32, Rickles landed a small part in Robert Wise’s submarine drama Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), starring Clark Gable. Two years later, he was cast in The Rat Race with Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds. Rickles’ TV guest appearances include episodes of The Twilight Zone, Wagon Train, Burke’s Law, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., I Dream of Jeannie, I Spy, Get Smart (alongside his buddy, Don Adams), Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Sanford and Son, The Bernie Mac Show and Hot in Cleveland.

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