Comedy legend Carl Reiner, whose multi-decade showbiz career included nine Primetime Emmy wins, died Monday of natural causes. He was 98.
“Last night my dad passed away. As I write this my heart is hurting,” Reiner’s son Rob, also an actor and filmmaker, wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. “He was my guiding light.”
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A prolific actor, director and producer, Reiner was best known for creating The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran on CBS from 1961 to 1966 (and scored Reiner multiple Emmy wins for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy). He also co-starred on the sitcom as the egocentric Alan Brady. Prior to that, he co-wrote and acted on Caesar’s Hour and Your Show of Shows, opposite comedian Sid Caesar.
In recent years, Reiner kept busy with a pair of recurring roles on Hot in Cleveland (as Elka’s on-again/off-again boyfriend Max) and Two and a Half Men (as Evelyn’s nonagenarian beau Marty Pepper). Most recently, he voiced the character of Toy Story 4‘s Carl Reineroceros, who popped up again in an episode of the Disney+ followup Forky Asks a Question.
Additional TV credits included episodes of Ally McBeal, The Bernie Mac Show, Boston Legal, The Carol Burnett Show, Good Heavens, House, The Larry Sanders Show, Life With Bonnie, Mad About You, Parks and Recreation and Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. He also lent his voice to episodes of American Dad, Bob’s Burgers and King of the Hill, among many other series.
Reiner’s robust career also included several Broadway musicals, film work (most notably as Saul Bloom in the Ocean’s Eleven franchise) and multiple TV and stage appearances with comedy partner Mel Brooks. He also won a Grammy in 1999 for Best Spoken Comedy Album (which he shared with Brooks), and he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2000.
In a tweet on June 27, two days before his passing, Reiner said he had “lived the best life possible” alongside his late wife, Estelle Lebost, and their three children, Rob, Annie and Lucas.
My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy. He had a deeper understanding of the human condition, than I think even he was aware of. Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us.
— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) June 30, 2020
Infallibly of good cheer, wonderfully funny always, but a serious man, with deep values, huge intelligence, a creative mind that never quit exploring. It was a privilege to be around him and in his glow.#CarlReinerRIP
— Holland Taylor (@HollandTaylor) June 30, 2020
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