Carl Reiner, Pioneering TV Comic Writer, dies at the age of 98

Carl Reiner attends the LA Premiere of "If You're Not In The Obit, Eat Breakfast" at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) – Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as Sid Caesar’s “second banana” and achieved comedy as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight Mel Brooks ” 2000- year-old man ‘died, according to reports. He was 98.

Reiner, who was the father of actor-director Rob Reiner, died of natural causes Monday night at his home in Beverly Hills, California, TMZ and Variety reported.

Messages for various Reiner representatives were unanswered Tuesday morning.

One of the most beloved men in show business, the tall, bald Reiner was a welcome face on the small and silver screens in Caesar’s 1950s company, as the snarling, toupee-wearing Alan Brady of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and in such movies as “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming” and “It’s a crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy world.”


What you need to know

  • Carl Reiner, a pioneering TV writer, comedian and director, passed away at the age of 98
  • Along with Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and others, Reiner co-wrote Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows”
  • Reiner was the father of actor and director Rob Reiner
  • He reportedly died naturally at his Beverly Hills home Monday night

In recent years, he has been part of the rascal gang in the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ films starring George Clooney and has appeared in documentaries such as’ Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age ‘and’ If you’re not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast ‘.

Movies he directed included “Oh, God!” starring George Burns and John Denver; “All of Me”, with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin; and the 1970 comedy “Where’s Poppa?” He was particularly proud of his books, including ‘Enter Laughing’, an autobiographical novel that was later made into a movie and shown on Broadway; and ‘My Anecdotal Life’, a memoir published in 2003. He talked about his childhood and creative journey in the 2013 book ‘I Remember Me’.

But many remember Reiner for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” one of the most popular television series of all time and a model of ensemble play, physical comedy, and timeless, good-natured humor. It starred Van Dyke as a TV comedy writer who worked for a discerning eccentric boss (Reiner) and lived with his wife (Mary Tyler Moore in her first major TV role) and young son in the suburbs of New Rochelle, New York.

“The Van Dyke show is probably the most exciting part of my performance because it was very personal,” Reiner once said. “It was about me and my wife, who lived in New Rochelle and worked on the Sid Caesar show.”

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