Carl Reiner, comedy legend who created The Dick Van Dyke Present, dies at 98

Carl Reiner, comedy legend who created The Dick Van Dyke Show, dies at 98

For all Reiner’s success, pals mentioned he remained modest and likeable. “He is a loving, giving man, to the purpose of madness,” Brooks instructed the Academy of Tv Arts & Sciences. “If he had hair, I would marry him.”

Reiner conceived, wrote and acted in The Dick Van Dyke Present, wherein Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore portrayed one among tv’s most memorable sitcom marriages. The present, which ran from 1961 to 1966, gained 4 Emmys for greatest comedy. Reiner, who primarily based the present on his personal life, gained one other three Emmys for writing.

Inspiring writers

“I wrote it as a result of it was what I knew about,” he instructed Washington Jewish Week in 2009. “However many younger writers have instructed me, ‘I am a author right this moment as a result of I noticed The Dick Van Dyke Present after I was 13.’ That provides me extra pleasure than something.”

Reiner was born on March 20, 1922, within the Bronx, New York Metropolis. His father, Irving, a Romanian who skilled as a watchmaker in Vienna, emigrated in 1906 to the US.

In his 2003 memoir, My Anecdotal Life, Reiner described his father as a self-taught musician and weekend inventor whose patents included an car clock.

Taught by his father to recite the alphabet, print his title and write numbers from 1 to 100 earlier than kindergarten, Reiner skipped half of the primary grade. He graduated from highschool at age 16.

His youth and immaturity made him really feel like an outsider at college, entertaining schoolmates by placing each toes behind his head and strolling on his arms, he mentioned in his memoir: “However hey, who’s complaining! Being an ‘outsider’ has given me the quiet time to ponder methods to behave like an ‘insider,’ which I feel I’ve mastered.”

Standing, Morey Amsterdam (left), Rose Marie, Richard Deacon and Dick Van Dyke, right, watch Carl Reiner, in barber chair, during a rehearsal for the The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1963.

Standing, Morey Amsterdam (left), Rose Marie, Richard Deacon and Dick Van Dyke, proper, watch Carl Reiner, in barber chair, throughout a rehearsal for the The Dick Van Dyke Present in 1963.Credit score:David F. Smith

Profession path

He was working as a machinist’s apprentice after highschool when his brother urged him to enroll in a free performing lessons. His first job, unsalaried, was with an performing troupe that slipped him a greenback when his day job did not cowl each day carfare to the theatre.

In 1942, whereas performing comedy sketches at a Catskills resort, he fell in love with the scenic designer’s assistant, Estelle Lebost. They married the subsequent yr, earlier than Reiner entered the US Military. He served three years, entertaining troops within the South Pacific.

Reiner gained two Emmys for greatest supporting actor within the 9 years he labored with Caesar, incomes admiration from others for holding a straight face whereas all about him have been cracking up with laughter.

His semi-autobiographical first e book, Enter Laughing (1958), was tailored right into a play and later ran for a yr on Broadway. Reiner directed the 1967 film.

Film director

As a director, Reiner’s characteristic movies included 4 that starred Steve Martin: The Jerk (1979), Useless Males Do not Put on Plaid (1982), The Man With Two Brains (1983) and All of Me (1984). He additionally directed George Burns in Oh, God (1977).

His profession as an actor proved even longer than the remainder of his full life in present enterprise. Reiner acted on tv all through the 1950s. He appeared in 10 motion pictures within the 1960s, from Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) and It is a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) to The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) and The Comedian (1969), for which he additionally wrote the screenplay and directed.


He continued to behave into the millennium, reprising the a part of Saul Bloom in Ocean’s 13 (2007) that he performed within the two earlier action-caper motion pictures.

A member of the Tv Corridor of Fame, Reiner obtained the Kennedy Centre’s Mark Twain Prize for Humour in 2000. When the sound system failed in the course of the ceremony, he rose to the event by calling from the balcony: “Does anybody have 4 double-A batteries?”

Reiner and his spouse, Estelle, have been married for nearly 65 years till her dying in 2008. She had one of many nice one-line movie roles, in When Harry Met Sally (1989), directed by their son, Rob. As Meg Ryan’s character noisily fakes an orgasm in a New York delicatessen, Estelle turns to a waiter and says: “I am going to have what she’s having.”


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