American comedy legend Carl Reiner, who for a decades-long career made his mark on Broadway, television and film, has died.
He was 98 years old.
Reiner was inducted into the Emmy Hall of Fame in 1999, and prior to that he had taken several Emmyes home, primarily for his work on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Caesar’s Hour”.
His last victory was in 1995 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy on NBC’s “Mad About You”.
“My father passed away last night,” his son and fellow comedy giant Rob Reiner said in a statement Tuesday. “As I write this my heart hurts. It was my guiding light.”
Carl Reiner was an early television star with material that is likely to remain fun 2,000 years from now. His best-selling album, “2,000 Year Old Man,” was based on his comedy routine with Mel Brooks.
On that famous 1975 album, Reiner plays an interviewer asking questions of a 2,000-year-old Brooks. Heterosexual man Reiner questions Brooks about all sorts of topics in life, with improvisational responses that went down in comedy history.
Even in his last days, Reiner 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 image may have been in the mind of actress Rosanna Arquette when she tweeted a clenched fist and the message, “Rest in peace and power Carl Reiner,” on Tuesday. Arquette expressed “gratitude for all the laughter she has given us over the years.”
“Two and a Half Men” star Jon Cryer called Reiner a “brilliant and hilarious” role model and recalled the time when he took the veteran’s place as the host of the “Directors Guild of America Awards” In 2009. Cryer posted a photo of a hilarious letter that Reiner sent him after the latter was unable to attend the concert due to health problems.
“I thank you for replacing me tonight,” Reiner wrote. “I wish with all my heart that you fail, or if you don’t, that you are only adequate. I don’t want to have to compete with you for this unpaid work. “
Reiner’s wit boldly took on the American comedy that no man had ever gone before: “Condolences to the Carl Reiner Family,” “Star Trek” icon William Shatner wrote Tuesday. “From Sid Caesar’s writing room to recreating those moments for the Dick Van Dyke show, Carl was a master at his craft.”
Reiner was not only one of the great comic minds of the 20th century, but he also helped other comics.
Reiner directed the 1979 comedy “The Jerk,” which sent comedian Steve Martin to new heights of fame.
“Carl Reiner came into the mix and gave it heart and shape and we became very close friends,” Martin told an audience at the American Film Institute in 2009, celebrating the film’s thirtieth birthday.
“He was like a father to me, although he wouldn’t let me bathe as I wanted.”
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