Hollywood comedy legend Carl Reiner has died at the age of 98.
Reiner was a jack of all trades in showbiz: he was a director, writer, producer and actor and had an incredible lengthy résumé. He was a member of Sid Caesar’s legendary comedy team and went on to create The Dick Van Dyke Show and direct several movies. He was nominated for 17 Emmy Awards and won 10 times, including seven awards for his work on Dick Van Dyke.
Industry publication Variety confirmed with Reiner’s assistant that he died of natural causes, with his family by his side, at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Reiner’s son, Rob, posted on Twitter Tuesday morning, writing: “Last night my dad passed away. 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
He was also one of show business’ best liked men, the tall, bald Reiner was a welcome face on the small and silver screens, in Caesar’s 1950s troupe, as the snarling, toupee-wearing Alan Brady of The Dick Van Dyke Show and in such films as The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
In wake of the news, many of Reiner’s close friends, collaborators and fans took to Twitter sharing their memories of him, his work and his personality, while also expressing their grievances.
Here’s what some of them had to say:
Carl Reiner was comedy genius. Often that genius made other funny people even funnier. But give him a stage and he could spin laughter out of any moment. I watched him do it time and again. His contributions to comedy are eternal. And a lovely man, as well. #ripCarlReiner
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) June 30, 2020
.@TheSimpsons RIP Carl Reiner godfather to generations of comedy writers.
— Al Jean (@AlJean) June 30, 2020
The world lost an amazing voice with the loss of #comedylegend and #activist @carlreiner at 98. Do yourself a favor and stream #thedickvandykeshow #alanbrady or listen to the #2000yearoldman audio with #melbrooks pic.twitter.com/mSywM1Qryw
— Al Roker (@alroker) June 30, 2020
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of show business legend Carl Reiner. An innovator, entertainer and beloved icon, his nearly century of life was like a roadmap through American culture. His wit and courage never left him. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) June 30, 2020
We have lost the great Carl Reiner. My condolences to his family. He is irreplaceable. pic.twitter.com/pA1Tc4I5uR
— Joy Behar (@JoyVBehar) June 30, 2020
Already, I am upset to be living in a world without Carl Reiner and I only know the man his public work and essence. But I have one small remembrance of a random encounter that makes me laugh and I'm gonna share: Long time ago I was a newspaper reporter and I had the chance…
— David Simon (@AoDespair) June 30, 2020
RIP comedy genius Carl Reiner, 98.
'Everybody wants to laugh – you know that. They need to laugh… people need to laugh.'
Thanks for all the laughs, Carl. pic.twitter.com/09U1KVNEmU
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 30, 2020
To any young actors who want to pursue comedy, Study Carl Reiner. Go down a YouTube spiral right now. Start with Sid Caesar and Our Show of Shows and go from there. He was THE MASTER. Thank you for the hundred year Master Class, Sir. You will be missed. ❤️ #ripCarlReiner
— Rob McClure (@RobMcClure) June 30, 2020
“Condolences to the family of Carl Reiner,” wrote William Shatner in a tweet. “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,” he concluded.
In recent years, Reiner was part of the roguish gang in the Ocean’s Eleven movies starring George Clooney and appeared in documentaries including Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age and If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.
Films 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 especially proud of his books, including Enter Laughing, an autobiographical novel later adapted into a film and Broadway show; and My Anecdotal Life, a memoir published in 2003. He recounted his childhood and creative journey in the 2013 book, I Remember Me.
He was also inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1999.
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 playing, physical comedy and timeless, good-natured wit.
It starred Van Dyke as a television comedy writer working for a demanding, eccentric boss (Reiner) and living with his wife (Mary Tyler Moore in her first major TV role) and young son in suburban New Rochelle, New York.
“The Van Dyke show is probably the most thrilling of my accomplishments because that was very, very personal,” Reiner once said. “It was about me and my wife, living in New Rochelle and working on the Sid Caesar show.”
Reiner leaves behind his children actor-director Rob Reiner, Lucas and Sylvia Anne. His wife since 1943, Estelle, died in 2008.
— With files from Global News’ Chris Jancelewicz and Adam Wallis
© 2020 The Canadian Press