"He cared about me...he's one of the greats." @RealTracyMorgan says he cried when Don Rickles sent him flowers after surgery. Morgan said he had never met Rickles before but the comedian sent him flowers after his kidney transplant surgery. #TheYear pic.twitter.com/0RnNr7695S— 20/20 (@ABC2020) December 19, 2017
“Don Rickles is an icon. He’s one of the greats,” Morgan said, going on to recall what the late stand-up comedian had done for him just after his kidney transplant.
“This is the kind of man Don Rickles was to me. I had to get a kidney transplant. I’d never met this man in my life – never ever in my life – and after the surgery, a bouquet of flowers came up, and it was from Don Rickles,” Morgan continued. “And I cried the whole night. Because he cared about me."
Rickles passed away of kidney failure on April 6, 2017 in his Beverly Hills home. He was 90-year-old.
The ABC special honored other notable figures that were lost in 2017, including David Cassidy, who was remembered by actress Maureen McCormick who said that he will “never be forgotten.” Other stars remembered included Mary Tyler Moore, Glen Campbell, and Tom Petty. But there were a few notable names left out of the program, including Troy Gentry and Nelson Ellis.
The night proved to be an emotional one, with fans of the late figures taking to social media to share their emotions and post their own tributes to the stars.