Carl Reiner passed away Monday, June 29th at the age of 98.
Remembering Carl Reiner, Hollywood Legend
Perhaps best known as the creator, writer, producer, and actor on The Dick Van Dyke Show, his career spanned seventy decades. In the early to mid 1950s, he co-wrote and acted on Caesar’s Hour and Your Show of Shows with Sid Caesar, and formed a comedy duo with Mel Brooks in the sketch “2000 Year Old Man.” He also acted in films such as It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and The Russians Are Coming (1966) and directed several of comedian Steve Martin’s films, including The Jerk (1979).
Reiner was born in The Bronx, New York City on March 20th, 1922, the youngest of two sons. His parents were Jewish immigrants, his dad from Austria and his mom from Romania.
Reiner graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1938 and enrolled in drama at the College of the City of New York. In 1943, he was drafted into the Army Air Forces, and spent the next few years entertaining troops around the Pacific theater until he was honorably discharged in 1946. After the Army, he performed in several Broadway musicals and starred in Call Me Mister.
While appearing on air with Sid Caesar, he became friends with other writers like Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, and Woody Allen, before teaming with Brooks on The Steve Allen Show. Brooks and Reiner stayed best friends for the next seventy years, and in recent years had dinner together every night.
The Dick Van Dyke Show premiered in 1961, becoming a massive hit and making stars out of Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Reiner began his directing career during the show and continued on after it wrapped in 1966. He also continued to make guest appearances on several shows and films throughout his lifetime.
He authored several books, including his memoir My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir.
Reiner was married to actress and singer Estelle Lebost for 64 years until her death in 2008. They had three kids, actor and filmmaker Rob, Annie, who is an author, and actor and director Lucas.
He died of natural causes.