Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke Show Creator, Dead at 98

Brenda Watkins
June 30, 2020

"Last night my dad passed away", Rob Reiner wrote.

(Gray News) - Carl Reiner died at his home in Beverly Hills on Monday night, Variety confirmed.

Carl Reiner's wit is well-documented through his work behind and in front of the camera, but in his final years he took to Twitter frequently to muse on art, life and to skewer Donald Trump.

In 2018, at age 96, Reiner became the oldest Emmy nominee in history for his narration of the HBO documentary "If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast".

Another added: "Any young actors who want to pursue comedy, study Carl Reiner". Rob Reiner said in a tweet Tuesday that his "heart is hurting".

His father was also active on Twitter.

He later appeared as an elderly con man in the 2001 remake of Ocean's Eleven.

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His greatest disappointment was "Bert Rigby, You're a Fool", a 1989 musical he wrote and directed that starred Robert Lindsay, a British actor Reiner believed could be a new Dick Van Dyke. Jon Cryer also tweeted a pretty brilliant letter from Reiner after subbing in for him as an awards show host. In the 1950s, fellow writers on Your Show of Shows included Brooks and Neil Simon, creating a combination of silliness and satire.

In his 90s, virtually every day in Beverly Hills, Reiner met with Brooks, after they both lost their wives, and they would sit on Reiner's sofa watching movies, telling jokes and recalling a lifetime of comedy. He was 98 years old.

Asked why the cross became a symbol for Christianity, for example, Brooks replied: "It was easier to put together than the Star of David". Prior to that, he co-wrote and acted on Caesar's Hour and Your Show of Shows, opposite comedian Sid Caesar.

Network executives initially passed on the project, unhappy with Reiner as the lead character, Rob Petrie. On the show, Reiner would guest star as temperamental show host Alan Brady, and would write numerous episodes. The series, considered a TV sitcom classic, ended its run in 1966.

As a result of its success, Reiner moved into feature-film-making: his directorial debut was Enter Laughing in 1967, adapted from his own autobiography about a Jewish kid trying to break into showbusiness.

His film credits included directing George Burns in 1977's Oh, God! and Steve Martin in The Jerk, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid and The Man with Two Brains. Reiner returned to that role in two "Ocean's" sequels.

He also made appearances on "Hot in Cleveland" and "Two and a Half Men". "I'm just collecting the fares", he told the A.V. Club.

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