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Hollywood Legend Carl Reiner Dies At 98

The 'Dick Van Dyke Show' creator was one of Hollywood's most legendary figures.

Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner [Courtesy Photo]

Carl Reiner, the Hollywood legend who created The Dick Van Dyke Show, has died. He was 98 years old. Reiner was a veteran actor, director, writer and producer who's resume is noteworthy, to say the very least.

Reiner passed away from natural causes in his Beverly Hills home on Monday night, his assistant Judy Nagy confirmed to Variety.

In 1950, Reiner was cast by Max Lieberman in Sid Caesar's NBC sketch program Your Show of Shows, on which Reiner worked with writers Neil Simon and Mel Brooks. Reiner and Brooks would form a friendship that lasted decades.

Reiner and Brooks created a comedy sketch called 2000 Year Old Man, which they performed numerous times starting in 1960. The sketch eventually produced five comedy albums. The duo's final outing, 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000, won the GRAMMY® Award for Best Comedy Album in 1998.

Carl created The Dick Van Dyke show, which starred comedy legend Dick Van Dyke. He wrote many of the show's episodes and even appeared on screen in a reoccurring role. The show premiered on CBS in October 1961 and went off the air 1966. Throughout its five seasons, the show garnered 15 Emmy Awards. Reiner himself won five Emmys for his work on the show. In 2002, TV Guide ranked the program #13 on their list of the 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

Reiner appeared in his first feature film as an actor in 1959's Happy Anniversary. In 1982, he wrote, directed, and starred in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid alongside Steve Martin and George Gipe. Reiner wrote four feature films that starred a young Steve Martin, and is often credited with helping launch the young comic into stardom.

He also directed and starred in the 1987 comedy Summer School.

Reiner's last turn in the director's chair was for the 1997 romantic comedy That Old Feeling starring Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.

Reiner was cast in a starring role in the 2001 remake of the 1960 classic Ocean's Eleven alongside George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Andy Garcia. He reprised his role as Saul Bloom in the sequels Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).

Reiner's last turn in the director's chair was for the 1997 romantic comedy That Old Feeling starring Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.

Reiner was a frequent special guest television star throughout the latter half of his career. He appeared on hit shows like Frasier, Ally McBeal, House, Two and a Half Men, Boston Legal, and Hot In Cleveland. He appeared in an episode of Mad About You in 1995 and garnered an Emmy for his performance.

Over the years, Reiner has also lent his voiceover talents to hit animated series like Family Guy, King of the Hill, Bob's Burgers, and American Dad.

Reiner's final acting gig came in 2019 with an appearance in the animated blockbuster Toy Store 4.

Throughout his career, Reiner garnered nine Emmy Awards. In 1999, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and in 2000, he received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center.

Before he hit Hollywood, Reiner was a corporal in the United States Air Force and served during World War II.

Carl's wife of 64 years, Estelle Lebost, passed away in 2008. He is survived today by his son Rob Reiner, an actor and director, daughter Anne Reiner, an author, and son Lucas Reiner, an artist. He has six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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