Among the chorus in Hollywood reacting today to the death of Don Rickles is Martin Scorsese, who directed Rickles in his 1995 movie Casino starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci and James Woods. Rickles memorably played casino manager Billy Sherbert in the pic.
Here’s Scorsese’s remembrance:
Don Rickles was a giant, a legend…and I can hear his voice now, skewering me for being so lofty. I had the honor of working with him on my picture Casino.He was a professional. He kept me doubled over with laughter every day on the set – yet he was a complete pro. We became friends over the years and I had the honor of being roasted by him more than once – sometimes when I didn’t expect it. He just started showing up at places and insulting me. Experiencing Don, and tuning into his mind, I witnessed the evolution of his comedy. It was like listening to a great jazz musician wail. Nobody else did what he did. He made comedy into an art form. And like all geniuses, comic or otherwise, he’s irreplaceable. He was much loved. I’m really missing this man.