Comedic television legend Carl Reiner died June 29 in his Beverly Hills home as a result of natural causes at the age of 98.

After beginning his career as Sid Caesar’s sidekick, Reiner went on to become a very successful writer, director, producer, and actor with hundreds of credits to his name.

Reiner’s accomplishments include a Grammy Award for “The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000” – a follow up to “The 2000 Year Old Man”, a dozen Emmy Awards, is a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humour, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

He was born in the Bronx, New York on March 20, 1922 the son of Austrian Jewish watchmaker father and a Romanian Jewish mother.  He joined the U.S. Army during World War II where he spent a year and a half touring the GI variety show circuit.  Once out of the Army, Reiner began his legendary career on the stage; landing his first Broadway role in 1946.

After his debut in “Call Me Mister”, Reiner continued on Broadway with appearances in “Inside U.S.A.”, “Alive and Kicking”, “Enter Laughing”, “Something Different”, “Tough to Get Help”, “So Long, 174th Street”, and “The Roast” as actor, writer, and/or director.

Reiner made his television writing debut in 1954 with three episodes of “Caesar’s Hour”. From there he went on to write for two dozen more productions including “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show”, “The Thrill of it All”, “The Art of Love”, 158 episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Free to Be…You & Me”, 22 episodes of “Lotsa Luck!”, 72 episodes of “The New Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The 2000 Year Old Man”, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, “The Man with Two Brains”, and “The Cleveland Show”.

As a producer, Reiner has 12 credits to his name including The “Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The Alan Brady Show”, “Good Heavens”, “Flannery and Quilt”, “Good Morning World”, “The Comic”, “Enter Laughing”, and “The Comedy Spot”.

This acting credits feature 100 different roles from animated TV and sitcoms to films including his 1948 debut in “The Fashion Show”, “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show”, “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”, “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!”, “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “That Girl”, “Night Gallery”, “The New Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The 2000 Year Old Man”, “Good Heavens”, “Oh, God”, “History of the World: Part 1”, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, “Fraiser”, “Mad About You”, “The Larry Sanders Show”, “Hercules”, “Family Law”, “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle”, “King of the Hill”, “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Crossing Jordan”, “Ally McBeal”, “Ocean’s Twelve”, “The Bernie Mac Show”, “Boston Legal”, “Father of the Pride”, “Ocean’s Thirteen”, “House”, “The Cleveland Show”, “Parks and Recreation”, “Two and a Half Men”, “Hot in Cleveland”, “Bob’s Burgers”, “American Dad!”, “WordGirl”, “Family Guy”, and “Toy Story 4”.  “Saddle Up” was in pre-production at the time of his death.

Reiner has 21 productions as a director including “Good Morning World”, “A Touch of Grace”, “The New Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Flannery and Quilt”, “Good Heavens”, “Oh, God”, “The Jerk”, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, “The Man with Two Brains”, and “That Old Feeling”.

As himself Carl Reiner made nearly 300 appearances as a comedian and on comedy shows, on game shows, 139 episodes of “Your Show of Shows”, variety shows, award shows, talk shows and late night talk shows, and documentaries.

Predeceased by his wife of 65 years Estelle, Reiner is survived by his children – Rob, Lucas, and Sylvia.  Only Sylvia did not follow her father into show business.


feature photo credit: By photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0,