Carl Reiner Dies, Comedy Legend and Iconic Director Was 98

  • Carl Reiner Dies, Comedy Legend and Iconic Director Was 98

Carl Reiner Dies, Comedy Legend and Iconic Director Was 98

"As I write this my heart is hurting".

Using his experiences as a television writer, Reiner created "The Dick Van Dyke Show", starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore and occasionally himself as temperamental host Alan Brady.

Victor of nine Emmy Awards, Reiner earned five for The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961-66, and on which he played television host Alan Brady.

Along with Brooks, Reiner became an icon of Jewish-American comedy for the pair's sketch routines, most famously The 2000 Year Old Man which first appeared on record in 1960, and grew out of their work as writers on Sid Caesar's hit TV comedy Your Show of Shows.

Reiner is survived by his three children, Annie, Lucas, and Rob (as in famed director, Rob Reiner).

Additionally, Reiner would direct many episodes of The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and in 2004, he'd appear in the reunion special The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited alongside Van Dyke. "He was my guiding light", Reiner's actor-filmmaker son Rob Reiner tweeted. He'd follow this up with performances in Broadway musicals, including a lead role in the show Call Me Mister.

In his early years Reiner worked with comedy legends such as Syd Caesar and Mel Brooks, a close friend.

In one hugely popular skit with the latter, Reiner played a straight man interviewer to Brooks's "2001 Year Old Man".

He was especially proud of his books, including Enter Laughing, an autobiographical novel later adapted into a film and Broadway show; and My Anecdotal Life, a memoir published in 2003. But CBS ultimately picked up the series in 1961, after it was recast and retitled for its new star, "The Dick Van Dyke Show".

Films he directed included Oh, God! starring George Burns and John Denver; All of Me, with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin; and the 1970 comedy Where's Poppa? He recounted his childhood and creative journey in the 2013 book, I Remember Me.

Reiner married Estelle Lebost in 1943, and they stayed married until her death in 2008. After its impressive box office figures, the pair made three more films in a row - Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982), The Man with Two Brains (1983) and All of Me (1984) - all of which were substantial successes.

Clooney, who collaborated with Reiner on the Ocean's Eleven movies, told Variety, "Carl Reiner made every room he walked into funnier, smarter, kinder".

In 2018, at age 96, Reiner became the oldest Emmy nominee in history for his narration of the HBO documentary "If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast".

Comedians Mel Brooks, left, and Reiner pose with their Grammy Awards for best spoken comedy album on February 24, 1999, in Los Angeles. Associated Press contributed to the report.