Carl Reiner

Carl Reiner

Infobox actor
name = Carl Reiner

imagesize = 180px
caption = The Emmy Awards, September 1989
birthname =
birthdate = birth date and age|1922|3|20
location = Bronx, New York, USA
yearsactive =
spouse = Estelle Lebost
homepage =
academyawards =
emmyawards = Best Supporting Actor - Comedy Series
1957 "Caesar's Hour"
1958 "Caesar's Hour"
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
1962 "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
1963 "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
Outstanding Guest Actor - Comedy Series
1995 "Mad About You"
Outstanding Comedy Series
1966 "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
Outstanding Program Achievements in Entertainment
1965 "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
Outstanding Writing - Comedy/Music Program
1967 "The Sid Ceasar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard"
1964 "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
grammyawards = Best Spoken Comedy Album
1998 "The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000"
awards = TV Star - Hollywood Walk of Fame
6413 Hollywood Blvd

Carl Reiner (born March 20, 1922)"St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture", St. James Press, (2000)] is an American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian. He has won nine Emmy Awards during his career.


Early life

Reiner was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of Bessie (née Mathias) and Irving Reiner, who was a watchmaker. [ [ Carl Reiner Biography (1922-) ] ] His parents were Jewish immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. [ [ A Seriously Funny Man; If Life's a Joke, Humorist Carl Reiner Gets It - The Washington Post - HighBeam Research ] ] When he was sixteen, his older brother Charlie read in the "New York Daily News" about a free dramatic workshop being put on by the Works Progress Administration and told him about it. He had been working as a machinist fixing sewing machines. He credits Charlie with changing his career plans. [SUSAN KING, "Los Angeles Times", Feb 27, (2001) pg. F.5] Reiner was educated at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and served in the United States Army during World War II.


Reiner performed in several Broadway musicals, including "Inside U.S.A.", and "Alive and Kicking", and had the lead role in "Call Me Mister". In 1950, he was cast by producer Max Leibman in Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows", appearing on air in skits while also working alongside writers such as Mel Brooks and Neil Simon. He also worked on "Caesar's Hour" with Brooks, Simon, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, Mike Stewart, Aaron Ruben, Sheldon Keller and Gary Belkin.

In 1959, Reiner developed a television pilot, "Head of the Family," based on his experience on the Caesar shows. However, the network didn't like Reiner in the lead role. In 1961, the recast and retitled show, "The Dick Van Dyke Show", edited by Bud Molin became a hit. In addition to usually writing the show, Reiner occasionally appeared as temperamental show host "Alan Brady," who ruthlessly browbeats his brother-in-law (played by Richard Deacon). The show ran from 1961 to 1966. In 1966, he co-starred in the Norman Jewison film "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming".

Reiner began his directing career on the Van Dyke show. After that show ended its run, Reiner's first film feature was an adaptation of Joseph Stein's play "Enter Laughing" (1967), which was based on Reiner's book of the same name. Balancing writing, directing, producing and acting, Reiner has wide worked on a range of movies and television programs. Probably the best-known films of his early directing career were the cult comedy "Where's Poppa?" (1970), starring George Segal and Ruth Gordon, and "Oh, God!" (1977) with George Burns.

Reiner played a large role in the early career of Steve Martin, by directing and co-writing four films for the comedian: "The Jerk" in 1979, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" in 1982, "The Man with Two Brains" in 1983, and "All of Me" in 1984.

In 1989, he directed "Bert Rigby, You're a Fool". Reiner spent many an occasion on stage playing the straight man to Mel Brooks' "2000 Year Old Man" character. In 2000, Reiner was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. A year later, he played thief and con man Saul Bloom in Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Eleven" and has reprised that role in its sequels, "Ocean's Twelve" and "Ocean's Thirteen". In 2004 he voiced the lion Sarmoti in the animated TV series "Father of the Pride".

Reiner has also written a number of books, including memoirs like 2004's "My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir", and novels like 2006's "NNNNN: A Novel". In "American Film", Reiner expressed his philosophy on writing comedy thus: :"You have to imagine yourself as not somebody very special but somebody very ordinary. If you imagine yourself as somebody really normal and if it makes you laugh, it's going to make everybody laugh. If you think of yourself as something very special, you'll end up a pedant and a bore." He continued: "If you start thinking about what's funny, you won't be funny, actually. It's like walking. How do you walk? If you start thinking about it, you'll trip."

Personal life

On December 24, 1943, Reiner married singer Estelle Lebost. She is 8 years his senior and the two have been married 64 years now. At the time of the marriage he was 21 and she was 29. Estelle is probably best remembered for her one line — "I'll have what she's having" — in the deli scene in son Rob's 1989 hit, "When Harry Met Sally".

Reiner is the father of actor-turned-director, Rob Reiner, (b. 1947), poet, playwright and author Sylvia Anne (Annie) Reiner (b. 1947) and painter, [ART REVIEWS; David Pagel, "Los Angeles Times", Oct 12, (1995) pg. 4] actor, director Lucas Reiner (b. 1960). [imdb name|id=0718008|name=Lucas Reiner]

Reiner, who was raised Jewish and remains proud of his Jewish cultural heritage, has described himself as a Jewish atheist. [ [ Assimilation and its barriers | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/09/2008 ] ] He says that "man invented god, not the other way around."


Books by Carl Reiner

*"The 2000 Year Old Man Goes To School", Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner, 2005 ISBN 0-060-76676-X
*"The 2,000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000:The Book", Cliff Street (New York City), 1997 ISBN 0-060-92992-8
*"All Kinds of Love" (novel), Carol Publishing (Secaucus, NJ), 1993 ISBN 1-559-72163-4
*"Continue Laughing" (novel), Carol Publishing, 1995 ISBN 0-517-16744-1
*"Enter Laughing" (semi-autobiographical novel), Simon & Schuster, (1958).
*"How Paul Robeson Saved My Life (and Other Mostly Happy Stories)", Cliff Street, (1999)ISBN 0-060-93251-1
*"My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir", St. Martin's Press (2003) ISBN 0-312-31104-4
*"Nnnnn": A novel, Simon & Schuster (2006) ISBN 0-743-28669-3
*"Tell Me a Scary Story but Not Too Scary", Carl Reiner and James Bennett, Little & Brown (2003) ISBN 0-316-00260-7


*"The Thrill of It All", Universal, (1963).
*"The Art of Love", Universal, (1965).
* "Enter Laughing" (adaptation of Reiner's novel), Columbia, (1967) (With Joseph Stein).
* "The Comic", Columbia, (1968)(With Aaron Ruben).
* "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid", Universal, (1982) (With Steve Martin and George Gipe).
* "The Man with Two Brains", Warner Bros., (1983) (With Steve Martin and George Gipe).


* "Something Different", Samuel French, 1967. (produced on Broadway, 1967)

Television plays

*"Your Show of Shows" (series), NBC-TV, 1950-54.
*"Sid Caesar Invites You" (series), ABC-TV, 1958.
*"The Dick Van Dyke Show" (series), CBS-TV, 1961-66.
*"The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special", NBC-TV, 1967.


*"Carl Reiner: An American Film Institute Seminar on His Work", Microfilming Corporation of America, (1977).
*Faerie Tale Theatre "Pinocchio" (1984) - Geppetto


*Emmy Award, 1957, Best supporting actor in a comedy series, (Caesar's Hour).
*Emmy Award, 1958, Best supporting actor in a comedy series, (Sid Caesar Invites You).
*Outstanding writing achievement in comedy, 1962, 1963, and 1964 (The Dick Van Dyke Show).
*Outstanding program achievement in entertainment, 1965, (The Dick Van Dyke Show)
*Outstanding writing achievement in a variety, 1967, (The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special).
*Grammy Award nomination, 1960, (2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks)
*Grammy Award (The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000)
*Elected to Emmy Award Hall of Fame
*Grammy nomination for best spoken word album (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings from Mark Twain, 2001).

Further reading

*"Contemporary Authors Online", Gale, (2007).


External links

*imdb name|id=005348|name=Carl Reiner
*ibdb name|4679
* [ See Carl Reiner's interview for the Archive of American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.]
* [] "Carl Reiner" - Museum of Broadcast Communications
* [] "Remembering the Dick Van Dyke Show" (Carl Reiner)

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