Don Rickles Didn’t Record TOY STORY 4 Role Before His Death
Legendary comedian Don Rickles passed away at age 90 earlier this week, during production on Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4. Rickles, who has voiced Mr. Potato Head since 1995’s Toy Story, had yet to record new material for the upcoming sequel, Toy Story 4, opening in June 2019. THR confirmed the news with Rickles’ rep. Pixar has been doing rewrites on the newest Toy Story, a “romantic comedy” which sees Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the gang setting out to track down Woody’s original love, the porcelain Bo Peep.
In January, Tim Allen told me Pixar put the cast off “for about eight months.” It’s currently unknown how Mr. Potato Head is involved in Toy Story 4, but it’s possible Pixar utilizes previously recorded and unused recordings from past works to include Potato Head — and Rickles — in the film. Pixar previously drafted Blake Clark to voice Slinky Dog in 2010’s Toy Story 3, following the death of original actor Jim Varney in 2000.
“A God died today,” tweeted co-star Tom Hanks. “Don Rickles, we did not want to ever lose you. Never. Hanx.” Tim Allen also posted tribute to the departed comedian, saying, “Don Rickles is one of the biggest reasons I am a comic today. I feel bad, mostly for everyone in Heaven who will now learn first hand from the sharpest wits ever, what it’s like to be Rickled.”
Toy Story and Toy Story 2 director John Lasseter, returning to direct the franchise with Toy Story 4, released a tribute to Rickles, posted to the official Disney Pixar social media pages. “Don Rickles was a comic genius, and here at Pixar we were honored to also call him a friend,” reads the statement. “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.”
Toy Story 4 opens June 21st, 2019.