Carl Reiner, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' creator and king of comedy, dies at 98

The comedy legend died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home on Monday, June 29


                            Carl Reiner, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' creator and king of comedy, dies at 98
(Getty Images)

Carl Reiner, the comedy legend and film-maker renowned for his double act with Mel Brooks, has died at the age of 98. Carl died at his Beverly Hills home on Monday night, June 29. His assistant Judy Nagy told Variety that the creator of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ died of natural causes.

Carl, the father of filmmaker and activist Rob Reiner, was reportedly "one of the highest productive people in the history of the entertainment business". He had an impressive career that spanned decades. He won nine Emmy awards in his career, the five of which he received for ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ that aired from 1961 to 1966. The popular show also created a star in Mary Tyler Moore, who played the role of Dick Van Dyke's TV wife.

Some of Carl’s most popular films as a director are 1977’s ‘Oh God’, 1979’s ‘The Jerk, and ‘All of Me’ that released in 1984. While his popular quotes include - “Comedians are really writers who don't have pens and pencils about them, but they riff”, “Everybody wants to laugh - you know that. They need to laugh... people need to laugh”, and “A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water”.

According to reports, Carl, also the screenwriter and publisher, started his acting career while performing on several Broadway musicals including Inside U.S.A and Alive and Kicking. However, he got his first fame as a regular cast member of Sid Caesar’s ‘Your Show of Shows,’ for which he also won two Emmys in 1956 and 1957 in the supporting category. The last film directed by Carl was the 1997 romantic comedy ‘That Old Feeling,’ starring Bette Midler and Dennis Farina. 

Not just the Emmy awards winner, Carl also got the Writers Guild’s Laurel Award, a lifetime achievement award for a career in TV writing, in 1995. And in 2000, he received the Mark Twain Prize for Humor, presented by the Kennedy Center, while 2009 saw him winning the WGA’s Valentine Davies Award, recognizing both his writing legacy and valued service to the guild, the entertainment industry, and community at large.

On the personal front, Carl is survived by his three children with his late wife, Estelle Lebost, who died in 2008. The comedian married Lebost in 1943. Their children are Lucas, Sylvia Anne, and Rob. While Rob is a successful Hollywood film director, best known for 1987’s ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘A Few Good Men’ released in 1992, Annie is a playwright and poet, and Lucas is a painter and printmaker, The Daily Mail reported.

In 2018, Carl reportedly said that he wanted to “stick around” to see the US President Donald Trump voted out of office. Several people have taken to Twitter to show their grief on the demise of Carl. David Axelrod, Senior Political Commentator @CNN, wrote: “What a talent! RIP”, while actor Alan Alda, tweeted: “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. We love you, Carl.”

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