Hollywood heavyweight Carl Reiner – beloved for a seven-decade career in TV, film and theater that yielded comedic hits like ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and memorable collaborations with Steve Martin, Sid Ceaser and Mel Brooks – died at 98, according to TMZ and Variety.
Reiner reportedly died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home Monday night; his family was with him when he died.
Although Reiner is best known for his role in the CBS hit, “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which he wrote and starred in, the prolific comedian accumulated more than 400 credits in his career as a producer, writer, director and actor and won nine Emmy Awards as well as the Mark Twain Award for American Humor.
Among his directorial portfolio are popular comedies like 1977’s “Oh God” with George Burns; 1979’s “The Jerk” with frequent collaborator Steve Martin; and the 1984 film starring Martin and Lily Tomlin “All of Me.”
Reiner, who worked in the 80s and 90s, also appeared in many hit television shows, including “Two and a Half Men” and “House”, had roles in all three films “Ocean’s Eleven” and did voice work for “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “Bob’s Burgers” and more.
The comedian made his debut as a cast member of Sid Ceaser’s “Your Show of Shows,” where he won two Emmys and met his friend and comedy collaborator Mel Brooks; the duo wrote a Grammy-nominated album titled “2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks” which sparked Reiner’s writing career.
Reiner’s wife, Estelle, died in 2008, but he is survived by children – filmmaker Rob Reiner, artist Lucas Reiner and author Annie Reiner – as well as his granddaughter Tracy Reiner.
“He was the North Star of comedy. A constant. I have always considered his career as one of the best and most important of all time. wrote actor and comedian Billy Crystal in the foreword to Reiner’s 2012 memoir “I Remember Me”.
Reiner was born in the Bronx in 1922 to Jewish immigrants from Austria and Romania. He graduated from high school at age 16 and worked as a stagehand while studying acting. After serving in the military during World War II, where he met future “Show of Shows” collaborator Howard Morris, Reiner moved into action, acting in “Call Me Mister” and the Broadway Musical Revue from 1948 “Inside USA”. After decades of success, Reiner received the Writers Guild’s Laurel Award in 1995, a lifetime achievement for a career in television writing, and won the Mark Twain Award for Humor in 2000.