Comedy legend Carl Reiner has died aged 98.
Carl Reiner was one of the earliest stars of television who made a name on the small screen, Broadway and film industry.
Reiner was inducted into the Emmy Hall of Fame in 1999, and before that had taken home multiple Emmys, primarily for his work on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and ‘Caesar’s Hour.’
His last win was in 1995 for outstanding guest actor in a comedy, on NBC’s ‘Mad About You.’
Reiner died of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California, as announced by his assistant Judy Nagy.
The comedy icon might have known he was in failing health Saturday, when he tweeted fondly about his life.
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“Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I lived the best life possible,” he wrote. He gave thanks to his late “gifted” wife, Estelle, and their three children.
Dick Van Dyke on Tuesday posted a recent photo of him and his old friend on Instagram, calling Reiner a “100% pure mensch.”
“We love you so much,” Van Dyke added.
Reiner was a star of early TV with material that will likely still be funny 2,000 years from now. His bestselling album, “2,000 Year Old Man,”, was based on his comedy routine with Mel Brooks.
Man,”, was based on his comedy routine with Mel Brooks.
In that famous 1975 album, Reiner plays an interviewer asking questions of a 2,000-year-old Brooks. The straight man Reiner quizzes Brooks on all sorts of topics in life, with improvisational answers that went down in comedy history.
On Tuesday, Brooks called Reiner his best friend.
He tweeted about how much he loved working with the Reiner, and always considered him as his best friend.
Even in his final days, Reiner still managed to stay socially relevant. To celebrate Brooks’ 94th birthday, the pair donned Black Lives Matter T-shirts in a photo with Reiner’s daughter, Annie.
That picture may have been on the mind of actress Rosanna Arquette when on Tuesday she tweeted a clenched fist and the message: “Rest in Peace and power Carl Reiner.” Arquette expressed “gratitude for all the laughter you have given us through the years.”
“Two and a Half Men” star Jon Cryer called Reiner a “brilliant and hilarious” role model and recalled the time he took the veteran’s place as host of the Directors Guild of America Awards in 2009. Cryer posted a picture of a hilarious letter Reiner sent him after the latter couldn’t make the gig due to health issues.
Not only was Reiner one of the latter 20th century’s great comedic minds, he also helped other comics.
Reiner directed the 1979 comedy “The Jerk,” which sent stand-up comedian Steve Martin to new heights of fame.
Carl Reiner’s background
Reiner was born March 20, 1922, in the Bronx, New York, to his watchmaker father, Irving Reiner, and his mother, Bessie.
Carl Reiner was born on March 20, 1922, in the Bronx, New York City. His father Irving Reiner was a watchmaker; his mother was Bessie (née Mathias) Reiner. His parents were Jewish immigrants; his father was from Austria and his mother Romania. His older brother Charlie served in the 9th Division in World War II; his ashes are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
When he was 16, Carl was working as a machinist repairing sewing machines. His brother Charlie read about a free drama workshop sponsored by the Works Progress Administration and told Carl about it. Carl later credited Charlie with his decision to change careers. His uncle Harry Mathias was the first entertainer in his family.
Reiner was drafted into the United States Army Air Forces on October 27, 1942, and served during World War II, eventually achieving the rank of corporal by the end of the war. He initially trained to be a radio operator. After spending three months in the hospital recovering from pneumonia, he was sent to Georgetown University for ten months of training as a French interpreter.
There he had his first experience as a director, putting on a Molière play entirely in French. After completing language training in 1944, he was sent to Hawaii to work as a teleprinter operator. The night before he was scheduled to ship out for an unknown assignment, he attended a production of Hamlet by the Special Services entertainment unit. Following an audition before actor and major Maurice Evans, he was transferred to Special Services. Over the following two years, Reiner performed around the Pacific theater, entertaining troops in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima until he was honorably discharged in 1946.