Remembering the life and career of Carl Reiner

Brunilde Fioravanti
Luglio 1, 2020

Reiner and Martin teamed up on three more films in the 1980s, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid", "The Man with Two Brains" and "All of Me".

He was still taking voice roles in his 90s and had a key role in "If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast", a documentary about people who keep busy into their 90s. He is survived by their children, actor/director Rob Reiner, daughter Sylvia Anne, and son Lucas, as well as six grandchildren and five great-granchildren.

Bernadette Peters, who starred in Reiner's 1979 screwball comedy The Jerk with Martin, said, "Dearest Carl this was your last tweet always always caring til the end".

Even younger audiences are familiar with Reiner's work. "You may be the fool but you are the fool in charge".

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

During the Second World War, Reiner joined the Army and toured in GI variety shows for a year and a half.

He got his start by appearing in several Broadway musicals, including "Inside U.S.A." and "Alive and Kicking" before securing the lead role in "Call Me Mister".

Reiner first came to prominence alongside his comedy partner Mel Brooks, performing the 2000 Year Old Man sketch, famously sent up in The Simpsons' episode, Homer vs Patty & Selma.

Asked why the cross became a symbol for Christianity, for example, Brooks replied: "It was easier to put together than the Star of David".

He has also been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and won a Grammy for the comedy album The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000.

Network executives initially passed on the project, unhappy with Reiner as the lead character, Rob Petrie. It was after that success that Reiner turned his sights toward creating what would become "The Dick Van Dyke Show", on which he had originally planned to star. Reiner acted both as cast member and as part of the writing staff that also included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and Larry Gelbart.

A reprisal of his Alan Brady role three decades later, for a guest spot on the 1990s sitcom "Mad About You", earned Reiner yet another Emmy.

Though Reiner made some notable on-screen appearances, his career was largely based behind the camera as a writer, director and producer.

Reiner followed up the show's brief but wildly successful run by moving to directing, where he was behind the camera for "Enter Laughing", "Where's Poppa?" and "The Jerk", which was the first starring role for comedian Steve Martin, who had also written the screenplay. Reiner returned to that role in two "Ocean's" sequels. "As I write this my heart is hurting".

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