Don Rickles or Donald Rickles is an American actor, voice artist, and a stand-up comedian. Rickles is known for his eccentric style of “Insult comedy,” and often featured in a recurring guest role on television shows such as “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and “Late Night Show with David Letterman.” Rickles was born to parents, Max and Etta Rickles, in Queens,
New York. Rickles pursued his schooling from the Newtown High School, and later on, enrolled as a Motor Torpedo Boat Tender in the U.S. Navy, during the World War II. After serving the country for a couple of years, Rickles attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Rickles started his television career with bits and parts on a few projects but soon took up stand-up comedy, following the lack of work opportunities. Rickles started gaining notice during his stand-up performances in the clubs of Los Angeles and New York, where he became ostentatious as an “Insult Comedian” as a result of his responses to hecklers.
Rickles has credited Milton Berle as his inspiration. The decade of the 1950s saw the inception of Rickles’s career with stand-up gigs at a Miami club. As a witness to Rickles’s performance, the legendary Frank Sinatra was so impressed that he often asked many of his celebrity friends to watch Rickles live, and be mocked by him on his show. Rickles earned nicknames such as “Bullet Head,” “Mr. Warmth” and “The Merchant of Venom,” for his style of comedy. Rickles started his television career in 1955 as an announcer on “Stage 7.”
The 50s also saw Rickles in Chevron Hall of Stars, Cavalcade of America and “The Thin Man.” The year 1958 saw Rickles make his movie debut with a brief role in “Run Silent, Run Deep.” The film featured Clarke Gable and
Burt Lancaster in the lead. Rickles also made an appearance in the 1959 movie “Rabbit Trapp.” The decade of the 60s featured Rickles in television shows such as The DuPont Show with June Allison, The Twilight Zone,
The Addams Family, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Bob Hope Show, and Get Smart, among many others. The 1960s also saw Rickles in movies such as The Rat Race, Bikini Beach, The Money Jungle, and “Pajama Party.” The 70s Era featured Rickles in Kelly’s Heroes, “C.P.O Sharkey,” The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, and in his show titled “The Don Rickles Show.”
The 90s featured Rickles in movies such as Keaton’s Cop, Casino, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and in television shows such as Tales from the Crypt, Hunter, Daddy Dearest, The Larry Sanders Show, and The Single Guy. The millennium decade saw Rickles in The Bernie Mac Show, Hot in Cleveland, and he also provided voice-overs for Toy Story 3, Zookeeper and Hawaiian Vacation. Even at the age of 89, Rickles is a regular guest on television talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, the CBS-produced “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Rickles tied the knot to Barbara Sklar on the 14th of March, 1965.