Entertainment & Arts

Don Rickles dies: Tributes paid to voice of Mr Potato Head

Don Rickles and Mr Potato Head Image copyright Reuters/Shutterstock
Image caption Rickles voiced Mr Potato Head in the Toy Story films

Tom Hanks has led tributes to US comedian Don Rickles, who has died at the age of 90.

Rickles, who voiced Mr Potato Head in the Toy Story films, died of kidney failure at his Los Angeles home on Thursday.

Hanks, who played Woody in the movies, tweeted: "A God died today. Don Rickles, we did not want to ever lose you. Never. Hanx."

Jimmy Kimmel also paid an emotional tribute on his US talk show.

"I'm going to cry, I'm already crying," he said at the beginning of Thursday night's show as he began a 12-minute tribute to Rickles.

"I know it sounds crazy to say he was too young [to die] but he was, because he was youthful and funny and sharp and generous.

"I was fortunate enough to not only have to not only have him on this show as my guest but also to become close to him."

Toy Story 4

Image copyright Disney / Pixar
Image caption Toy Story 4 is set to be released in summer 2019

Rickles was due to reprise his role as Mr Potato Head for Toy Story 4 - which is due for release in 2019.

Pixar and Disney have not yet confirmed whether or not the comedian had already recorded his dialogue for the film.

It's currently in the pre-production stage, which means it's possible the script and voice recordings had not yet been completed.

In 2015, Hanks told the BBC's Graham Norton that he had begun recording his character Woody's lines for the film.

But he later explained that the production of the Toy Story films was a long process, and actors go into the studio to record new dialogue roughly every six months.

So it's possible that Rickles had completed his work on the film, but at such an early stage in the production process it would be unlikely.

Image copyright Reuters / Getty
Image caption Flowers and candles have been left at the comedian's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Several Hollywood veterans have also come forward to pay tribute to the comedian, whose career spanned 60 years.

Martin Scorsese, who worked with Rickles on Casino, described Rickles as "a giant and a legend".

"He was a professional. He kept me doubled over with laughter every day on the set - yet he was a complete pro," the director said.

Mel Brooks tweeted: "Don Rickles. One of the bravest, funniest, and sweetest guys that ever performed. A dear pal that we will all sorely miss."

"One of the all time great men and comics... always a class act and funny as hell. RIP, condolences to his family & to America," said Whoopi Goldberg.

Dick Van Dyke wrote: "Those were the days, my friend @DonRickles We thought they'd never end. We loved you so."

Other stars who paid tribute on social media included Barbara Streisand, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Mark Wahlberg and Danny DeVito.

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