'Mr Potato Head' Don Rickles dies at age of 90

US comedian Don Rickles - the voice of Mr Potato Head in the Toy Story movies - has died at the age of 90.

Rickles' publicist and friend Paul Shefrin said he passed away at his home in Los Angeles from kidney failure.

Born in New York, his rapid-fire delivery was often ad-libbed, Rickles saying that he had developed a brand of 'mockery humour' because he was not good at performing more conventional jokes, earning him the nickname "Mr Warmth".

His style delighted Hollywood royalty, nightclub audiences, and politicians by - all in good fun - hurling invective at them.

Those subject to his put-downs included Dean Martin, Johnny Carson and Frank Sinatra.

When Sinatra attended one of his shows, Rickles quipped: "Hey, Frank, make yourself at home. Hit somebody."

Sinatra laughed.

"I think the reason that (my act) caught on and gave me a wonderful career is that I was never mean-spirited," Rickles once said.

"Not that you had to like it, but you had to be under a rock somewhere not to get it."

Billy Crystal was among those paying tribute, tweeting: "A giant loss."

Samuel L. Jackson said on Instagram: "Farewell to a comedic legend & dear friend, Don Rickles. I know you're cracking them up in the Great Beyond!"

Barbra Streisand tweeted: "Being skewered by Don Rickles was side-splitting funny. A gentle soul with rapid fire wit."

And Tom Hanks said, also on Twitter: "A God died today. Don Rickles, we did not want to ever lose you. Never. Hanx."

Other movies the veteran comic appeared in included The Rat Race, with Tony Curtis, and Martin Scorsese's Casino.

Rickles is survived by wife Barbara, their daughter Mindy Mann and two grandchildren.

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