The world of comedy is in mourning after Don Rickles, one of the true giants of the art form, passed away this week at the age of 90 from kidney failure.

The highly influential comedian, renowned for his lightning-quick wit and observational comedic insults, died on Thursday (April 6th) at his home in Los Angeles, his publicist told The Hollywood Reporter.

Rickles, who was born in Queens, New York in 1926, quickly became famous in Las Vegas and achieved headliner status, becoming loosely associated with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in the 1950s after insulting the legendary crooner to his face and getting many laughs out of it.

Don RicklesDon Rickles in 2013

His sharp style earned him the nickname of ‘Mr. Warmth’ from chat show host Johnny Carson, on whose show Rickles appeared on dozens of occasions over the years, and, later, David Letterman’s too.

He also made a number of appearances on television shows such as ‘Archie Bunker’s Place’, ‘The Lucy Show’, ‘Get Smart’ and ‘Hot In Cleveland’, and later in films like The Rat Race in the 1960s and Martin Scorsese’s Vegas-mobster movie Casino in 1995.

More: Rubbishing suggestions of retirement, Don Rickles signs up for fourth ‘Toy Story’ film [archive]

However, he is probably best known to youngsters as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the three Toy Story movies.

Memories and tributes poured in via social media all day yesterday, but the most high profile salute came from late night host Jimmy Kimmel who paid a highly emotional tribute to Rickles, one of his idols and a guest on his show 18 times, on Thursday night’s episode of his show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’.

Hailing the late comedian as the “greatest talk show guest of all time” while struggling to hold in his tears, Kimmel said “this is not going to be our usual show tonight… we lost someone that we and I love very much today.”

Rickles is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara; his daughter, Mindy Mann; and two grandchildren, Ethan and Harrison Mann.

More: Jerry Seinfeld and Don Rickles to pay TV tribute to Don Rickles’ career [archive]