Actor and comedian Carl Reiner died on June 30, 2020, due to natural causes. He leaves behind a large family including children and many grandchildren.
Reiner was well-known early in his career for co-writing and acting on early TV comedy shows like Caesar’s Hour and Your Show of Shows, but he later moved on to The Dick Van Dyke Show as the creator, producer, writer and actor, which he is best known for.
During his life, Reiner formed a comedy duo with Mel Brooks. Together, they were in 2000 Year Old Man. Reiner also acted in films like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World and the Oceans film series. He directed some of Steve Martin’s most successful films, and he won many awards including Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards.
Reiner also received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Here’s what you should know about Reiner’s family:
1. Reiner’s Father Was a Watchmaker
MY HEROS CARL REINER ANNIE REINER & MEL BROOKS pic.twitter.com/yimJbwoqCU
— George Shapiro (@georgeshapiro) June 28, 2020
Reiner was born and raised in The Bronx, New York on March 20, 1922. He was born to Irving and Bessie Reiner. Irving was a watchmaker, and both of his parents were Jewish immigrants.
Reiner’s father came from Austria, and his mother was from Romania, and Carl’s brother Charlie served in the 9th division in World War II.
When he was 16 years old, Charlie told Carl about a free drama workshop being put on in New York, and Carl attended the workshop, which changed his life forever.
2. He Was Married to Estelle Reiner
Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I have lived the best life possible by having met & marrying the gifted Estelle (Stella) Lebost—who partnered with me in bringing Rob, Annie & Lucas Reiner into to this needy & evolving world.
— carl reiner (@carlreiner) June 27, 2020
Reiner was married to Estelle Reiner for over 60 years until she died in 2008.
Estelle Reiner had a few film roles, possibly with the most famous being When Harry Met Sally when she uttered “I’ll have what she’s having” after Ryan demonstrates a fake orgasm.
Estelle Reiner started a career as a jazz singer when she was 65 years old and continued in the business for 28 years, recording seven albums.
3. His Children Are Also in the Entertainment Business
Having the best time working on a new book that contains the artwork of members of my family. It starts with 16 yr old Stella Lebost, who, 12 yrs later, became my wife Estelle Reiner & Mother to Rob, Annie & Lucas.
— carl reiner (@carlreiner) June 20, 2020
Reiner was the father of Rob Reiner, Annie Reiner and Lucas Reiner. All three of his children are in the entertainment business.
Annie Reiner, who was born in 1949, is a poet, playwright and author. His youngest, Lucas Reiner, was born in 1960 and works as an actor and director as well as a painter. Lucas’ work is owned throughout the world.
Carl Reiner’s eldest son, Rob Reiner, is a famous actor and comedian as well.
4. He Had Six Grandchildren
What I am most proud of are, creating The Dick Van Dyke Show and informing Mel Brooks that he’s 2000 Years Old and knows everything. This, and a lot more, in my Dispatches From Quarantine: https://t.co/tPhSMRBiiM
— carl reiner (@carlreiner) June 23, 2020
At the time of his death, Reiner had six grandchildren. Reiner’s youngest son Lucas has three children.
Rob and Penny Marshall had three children. Jake was born in 1991, Nick was born in 1993 and Romy was born in 1998. The couple also raised Marshall’s daughter Tracy Reiner, who was born to Michael Henry and Marshall prior to Marshall and Rob Reiner’s marriage.
The family tree didn’t stop there, however. Reiner had five great-grandchildren at the time of his death.
5. Reiner Used Family Life to Write Scripts for the ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’
For no reason I awoke today reminiscing about an old “Dick Van Dyke Show” episode, where Rob Petrie insists that the hospital sent them home with the wrongbaby while Laura is certain that she is holding their child. At the denouement, the studio audience exploded with laughter. pic.twitter.com/twxymI9yc8
— carl reiner (@carlreiner) March 5, 2020
Reiner was the creator, writer and producer on The Dick Van Dyke Show in some of his best-known work. When he was writing scripts for the show, he would hole up in his office with a typewriter, according to Rob Reiner’s interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
When asked whether his father used their lives for inspiration, Rob said that it’s likely he did, responding, “He would come sometimes into my room and he would say, ‘Anything interesting happen to you lately?’ So I knew he was probably stuck ta those points.”
Rob and Carl never really talked about their careers, but Rob remembers Carl telling him he’d done a great job directing No Exit.
“And that’s the first time I’d ever heard anything from him where it was totally validating,” Rob recalled. “And then I remember the next time, I went over to his house and I was sitting with him in the backyard, and he said, ‘You know, I’m not worried about you.’ He said, ‘Whatever you want to do, it’s going to be ok.’”
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