The Toy Story films are jam-packed with an incredible selection of great actors and actresses who have given memorable performances that have stuck with audiences for years. Among the cast was the legendary Don Rickles, a comedian with a unique voice – he voiced Mr. Potato Head in all three of the Toy Story feature films, and also appeared in many of the Toy Story shorts. There is sad news today that Rickles passed away earlier this morning. (Update: Pixar has issued a statement, which has been added to the story.)
Rickles, who was 90-years-old, died at his home due to kidney failure, news that was confirmed by his publicist Paul Shefrin (via Variety). Although Rickles had famous roles throughout his career, in recent years, there is no doubt that Mr. Potato Head was one of his most well-known. It is a major loss for the Toy Story family, of which Rickles was a significant part.
Toy Story 4 is currently in development and there is likely much more voice recording to be done before the film, which is due in 2019, is complete. Some time will undoubtedly be taken by Pixar before a decision is made on what to do with the character in the film. It is difficult to imagine a world where Rickles is not voicing Mr. Potato Head, a character that he made his own, and gave quite a personality to.
Now, though, is the time to grieve and celebrate the great Rickles – he will surely be missed by many.
Update (4/7): Pixar has posted a heartfelt tribute to Rickles on Facebook. It is a statement from studio Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter (who also directed the first two Toy Story films that Rickles starred in). The full statement is below: