Tom Hanks, Jimmy Kimmel mourn Don Rickles death

Los Angeles, April 7 (IANS) As news of Don Rickles's death spread, stars including Tom Hanks, Bob Saget and Amy Schumer, took to social media to pay their respects to the legendary comedian.

Rickles died of kidney failure on Thursday at his home here, his publicist Paul Shefrin said. He was 90.

The master of the comic insult, Rickles rose to fame in the 1950s through his association with the Rat Pack. 

Although he was widely known as an "insult" comic, stars, especially those in the comedy world, refuted that with stories about his kindness.

In a statement, Bob and Ginnie Newhart expressed their shock and condolences regarding Rickles' death, reports

The statement read: "He was called ‘The Merchant of Venom' but in truth, he was one of the kindest, caring and most sensitive human beings we have ever known. We are devastated and our world will never be the same. We were totally unprepared for this."

Rose Marie, co-star of "The Dick Van Dyke Show", also said: "One of my dearest friends is gone. What a talent! He was remarkable and one of our favourites to work with on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show'. I have known him since he came to California. I will miss him something terrible."

Dick Van Dyke also paid tribute to the late comic.

"Those were the days, my friend Don. We thought they'd never end. We loved you so," Van Dyke tweeted.

David Letterman said of the late comic: "Don coming on our show was always a highlight for me. Just endless mischief and nonsense, and a guy who would make the audience go completely crazy. Such a professional, such a gentleman. I already miss him."

Director Martin Scorsese, whom Rickles worked with in his 1995 crime drama "Casino", appreciated the fact that he was able to see the "evolution" of Rickles's comedy.

Tom Hanks tweeted: "A God died today. Don Rickles, we did not want to ever lose you. Never. Hanx."

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

He was later a frequent and outrageous guest on "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts," which ran on NBC from the mid-1970s to the mid-'80s.

The comedian, sarcastically nicknamed "Mr. Warmth," starred in "Pajama Party" and "Kelly's Heroes" among other films, and was the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the popular "Toy Story."

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."

Mark Wahlberg said "Don Rickles was an absolute legend, my favourite comedian, and also my friend. Rest in peace."

David Arquette said death won't stop Rickles from doing what he does best.