ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
"Zombies, exploding heads...creepy-crawlies and a date for the formal - This is classic, Spanky." Wah-hoo-wah! Twitter: @Scodonnell1
S.C. O'Donnell

Comedy legend Don Rickles passed away on April 6th, 2017 at the age of 90. Rickles had a tremendous impact on the film and television industries, with a career that spanned over 60 years. His work on the TV shows CPO Sharkey, The Don Rickles Show and Daddy Dearest endeared him in the hearts of many, but his warmth and compassion touched those who knew him best. Rickles was also the longest comedy act running act in Las Vegas, with over five decades of continuous shows.

Watch the legendary Don Rickles on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

Rickles's most notable role in film was as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story franchise. His voice and spirit brought the character to life, and he helped bolster a terrific cast in one of the greatest animated films of all time. With his passing, the legacy Don Rickles left behind will live on, but many fans of the franchise were wondering what this means for the upcoming fourth installment of the franchise.

Don Rickles Passing And The Future Of 'Toy Story 4'

The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke with 's rep and confirmed that prior to his passing, he had not recorded any dialogue for the 2019 film Toy Story 4. The fourth film in the $2 billion Toy Story franchise is currently going through script rewrites, and they were waiting for the completed script before they brought any of the voice talent in to record.

Don Rickles was an integral part of the Toy Story franchise, and director John Lasseter recently paid tribute to him with some very touching words. Lasseter referenced how Rickles brought Mr. Potato Head to life, and he will surely be missed. Rickles's passing leaves a large void in the Toy Story 4 cast, and the task now falls on Pixar to try and preserve his memory, while also continuing the franchise in a way that feels organic.

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In recent years, we have seen film franchises lose cherished actors before they were done filming upcoming projects – as far back as Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The studios seem to find a way to fill in the gaps left by the actors passing, but do so in a very tasteful way. The biggest example of this is Paul Walker in Furious 7, which was handled with Walker’s brothers acting as stand-ins, and a lot of CGI rendering.

Disney and Lucasfilm must address this issue in upcoming Star Wars saga films after the death of Carrie Fisher, but they might go the way of recasting, to continue the story of Princess Leia. There has been no comment from Disney or regarding how they are going to deal without the voice talent of Don Rickles in Toy Story 4, but Pixar is sure to handle the issue with grace, and certainly honor the memory of a comedy icon.

Don Rickles will always be remembered as the best insult comic of all time, and he will forever be remembered by those whose lives he has touched. Although Rickles won’t be the voice of Mr. Potato Head anymore, the character lives on, and Pixar will certainly do everything they can to honor his memory. Toy Story 4 is slated for a June 21, 2019 release date, and make sure you check out clips of Don Rickles online, because they are phenomenal.

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(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


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