Carl Reiner: US comedy star dies at 98

Lawrence Kim
June 30, 2020

He died of natural causes on Monday at his home in Beverly Hills, his assistant Judy Nagy told Variety.

Inspired by his experiences as a comedy writer for the often hard Caesar, Reiner created - and produced and wrote - the acclaimed The Dick Van Dyke show, a smart and sophisticated sitcom that paired Van Dyke, as the Reiner stand-in, and a newcomer named Mary Tyler Moore as his wife.

Using his experiences as a television writer, Reiner created "The Dick Van Dyke Show", starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore and occasionally himself as temperamental host Alan Brady. He also appeared as Alan Brady, the egotistical and overbearing boss to Van Dyke's character, stealing numerous scenes and episodes he appeared in.

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".

During the early years of television comedy, from 1950 to 1957, Reiner appeared in skits with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca in "Your Show of Shows", while working alongside the show's writers Mel Brooks and Neil Simon.

The pairing helped launch the careers of both men and spawned multiple comedy albums and a TV special. 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.

In what would become a momentous collaboration, Reiner was asked by then-white-hot stage and TV comic Steve Martin to direct his debut film, and the 1979 film The Jerk was the result. Lebost died in 2008, and Reiner is survived by three children, Rob, Sylvia and Lucas.

Reiner's acting career was even longer lived than his directing: Just a year ago, he voiced the character Carl Reineroceros in Toy Story 4.

Reiner won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award during his career.

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. The father of actor and director Rob Reiner, Carl Reiner was 98.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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