Carl Reiner, the resourceful and versatile screenwriter, actor, and director who made his way as a “minion” to comedian Sid Caesar and leapt to the forefront of comedy as the creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” ) and as a serious man in the Mel Brooks movie “2000 Year Old Man”, he passed away. He was 98 years old.
Reiner died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California, said his assistant, Judy Nagy.
He was one of the most beloved men in the entertainment industry, and a welcome face on the big and small screen, in the Caesar troupe in the 1950s, as the grumpy boss with toupee Alan Brady on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and in films like “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” (“Here comes the Russians, here come the Russians!”) and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (“The world is crazy, crazy , crazy, crazy ”).
In recent years, he starred in the mischievous swindling gang in the movies “Ocean’s Eleven” starring George Clooney and appeared in documentaries including “Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age” and “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast ”.
He directed films like “Oh, God!” (“OMG!”), Starring George Burns and John Denver; “All of Me” with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin; and the 1970 comedy “Where’s Poppa?” (“Where is dad?”). He was especially proud of his books, including “Enter Laughing,” an autobiographical novel then brought to the movies and Broadway; and the memoirs “My Anecdotal Life”, published in 2003. He related his childhood and his creative journey in the 2013 book “I Remember Me”.
But many remember Reiner for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” one of the most popular American TV series of all time and a model of choral cast, physical comedy, and timeless and personable wit. He was following Van Dyke as a television comedy writer who worked for a demanding and eccentric boss (Reiner) and lived with his wife (Mary Tyler Moore in his first big role) and their young son just outside of New York in New Rochelle suburb.
“The Van Dyke show is probably the most exciting of my accomplishments because it was very, very personal,” Reiner once said. “It was about me and my wife, living in New Rochelle and working on the Sid Caesar program.”
Reiner is the father of actor and director Rob Reiner.
The first of his death appeared Tuesday on the TMZ entertainment website.