Don Rickles, legendary comedian known for caustic wit, dies at 90

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Don Rickles, the legendary comedian known for his playfully caustic wit, has died at age 90. (KABC)

Don Rickles, the legendary comedian known for his playfully caustic wit, has died, his spokesperson confirmed to ABC News on Thursday. He was 90.

Rickles died of kidney failure Thursday morning at his home in Los Angeles, said Paul Shefrin, his longtime publicist. He would have been 91 on May 8.

Fellow comedians and other celebrities took to social media after learning of the iconic funnyman's death.

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Legendary comedian Don Rickles has died at the age of 90.


Billy Crystal described Rickles' death as "a giant loss."

"90 years with Don Rickles weren't enough," Jimmy Kimmel said on Twitter. "One of the sweetest and most lovely people I had the pleasure of knowing. We miss you already."


In a statement, the Hollywood Walk of Fame announced that a memorial wreath would be placed on Rickles' star on Thursday afternoon.

The star, located in front of the El Capitan Theatre at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard, was dedicated to the comic in October 2000.

Rickles was born in New York City on May 8, 1926, to Max and Etta Rickles, according to an official biography from the comedian's spokesperson.

After growing up in the city's Jackson Heights neighborhood, Rickles served two years in the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1946.

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He went on to a career in films, television and standup comedy that spanned 55 years. The "Merchant of Venom" is perhaps best known for his barbed one-liners that targeted, among others, such luminaries as President Ronald Reagan, legendary singer Frank Sinatra and late-night TV icon Johnny Carson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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