After Thursday’s saddening loss of comedic genius Don Rickles, Disney Pixar paid tribute to the man a younger generation has come to know and love as Mr. Potato Head. In all three “Toy Story” movies, Rickles was the voice behind the lovable, but cranky, child’s toy.
On Friday, the company released a statement by Chief Creative Director John Lasseter on Rickles’ passing via Twitter. The post included a darkened image of the beloved Mr. Potato Head and was captioned “A tribute to Don Rickles.”
“Don Rickles was a comic genius, and here at Pixar we were honored to also call him a friend,” the statement read. “The wit, personality, and incredible timing he brought to Mr. Potato Head lit up the character and made him an essential part of the Toy Story ensemble. Even though Mr. Potato Head’s facial features fell off in every Toy Story movie his heart never left him – that was because of Don. We will miss him tremendously.”
A tribute to Don Rickles. pic.twitter.com/VjGBVu8dVb
— Pixar (@Pixar) April 7, 2017
Additionally, Rickles’ “Toy Story” costars also shared their condolences on social media.
A God died today. Don Rickles, we did not want to ever lose you. Never. Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) April 6, 2017
Don Rickles is one of the biggest reasons I am a comic today. I feel bad,
mostly for everyone in Heaven who will no… https://t.co/q747UcMS6c
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) April 6, 2017
While the role of Slinky Dog continued on after the death of Jim Varney in 2000, whether or not Mr. Potato Head will be retired in any future films is still to be decided.