Carl Reiner was a reigning comedy legend in Hollywood and his work will be appreciated for decades. His colleagues and family mourn his passing.
There are some stalwarts in Hollywood who've left a lasting impression on people and forgetting them would be a crime. One of those people is Carl Reiner, the creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show. The master of comedy passed away at the age of 98 on the night of June 29, 2020. His daughter, Annie, confirmed that he passed away, as per the New York Times. He died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home, his assistant Judy Nagy told CNN in a statement.
"Last night my dad passed away," Rob Reiner, his son who is an actor too, wrote on Twitter. "As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light."
Last night my dad passed away. As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) June 30, 2020
His career spanned live television, Broadway, motion pictures, record albums and a variety of guest appearances. He was also a performer and writer on the legendary Your Show of Shows, created The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was based on his life as a comedy writer. He first attracted national attention in the 1950s when he played the role of Sid Caesar’s multitalented second banana on Your Show of Shows. He also partnered with Mel Brooks on the hugely successful 2000 Year Old Man, according to the New York Times.
He was not just a comedian but was also praised for his acting chops. He starred in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, and, more recently, Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels, in which he played Saul Bloom.
His colleagues and mentees expressed grief at losing the incredibly talented man. Harry Shearer, who co-created This Is Spinal Tap with Rob, called Reiner's work on The Dick Van Dyke Show "the first great TV show about TV," according to Entertainment Weekly. "My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy. He had a deeper understanding of the human condition than I think even he was aware of. Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us," said Dick Van Dyke in a tweet.
My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy. He had a deeper understanding of the human condition, than I think even he was aware of. Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us.— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) June 30, 2020
The Good Place creator Michael Schur, whose Parks and Recreation Reiner appeared on in recent years, wrote, "The Dick Van Dyke Show debuted in 1961 and it's still funny. That's a magic trick." Steve Martin, who Reiner directed in hit comedy films like The Jerk, saluted him as "my greatest mentor in movies and in life." "My friend Carl Reiner died last night. His talent will live on for a long time, but the loss of his kindness and decency leaves a hole in our hearts," Alan Alda tweeted. "We love you, Carl."
“Carl Reiner made every room he walked into funnier, smarter, kinder. It all seemed so effortless,” George Clooney said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “What an incredible gift he gave us all. His was a life well lived and we’re all the better for it. Rest in peace my friend."
"Condolences to the family of Carl Reiner," actor William Shatner tweeted. "From the writers room of Sid Caesar to recreating those times for the Dick Van Dyke Show, Carl was a master at his craft. I knew him only peripherally but it was a pleasure to have known him."
Carl was also a loving family man. One of the last tweets posted by him on his account said, "Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I have lived the best life possible by having met & marrying the gifted Estelle (Stella) Lebost---who partnered with me in bringing Rob, Annie & Lucas Reiner into to this needy & evolving world." His wife, Estelle, delivered the famous line, "I’ll have what she’s having" in When Harry Met Sally, which was directed by her son Rob.
Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I have lived the best life possible by having met & marrying the gifted Estelle (Stella) Lebost---who partnered with me in bringing Rob, Annie & Lucas Reiner into to this needy & evolving world.— carl reiner (@carlreiner) June 27, 2020
The fact that Carl Reiner hung out with the same buddies for the last 70-odd years of his life, just like eating deli sandwiches and trying to make each other laugh, is the most crystalline expression of "squad goals" I've ever seen. I just think it's great.— David Roth (@david_j_roth) June 30, 2020
In his final interview, he revealed that what matters most to him were his children. "The only thing that really matters in life is your progeny, the people who come after you, the people you send out to the world," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "They’re either toxic or nontoxic. Estelle and I raised three children and she was around to see how good they were. But ... since she’s left, these three kids have become icons," he added.
Rest in peace, Reiner...