My first reaction to hearing his death was “How’s Mel doing? Who’s telling Mel?” Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks ate dinner together every night at Carl’s home in Beverly hills. The ate, had one beer and watch Jeopardy. It was a good life. He was 98.
The Bronx-born Reiner’s storied career as a actor, writer and director — which started before World War II — led to classic skits such as the “2000-Year-Old-Man,” films such as “The Jerk” and TV comedies such as “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
Born on March 20, 1922, to Jewish immigrants from Austria and Romania, Reiner graduated from high school early at the age of 16.
Reiner was also one-half of an iconic sketch comedy duo with Mel Brooks and appeared in classic feature films such as 1963’s “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World” and 1966’s “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and 2019’s “Toy Story 4.”
After decades of small-screen success he expanded into big screen work. Directing Steve Martin in the 1979 film “The Jerk,” the 1982 flick “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “The Man with Two Brains” in 1983, and the 1984 movie “All of Me,” and co-starring as con artist Saul Bloom in the 2001 blockbuster crime-thriller “Ocean’s Eleven,” as well as its sequels, are some of the many highlights of Reiner’s storied career.
Among the many awards Reiner would earn in his storied career are nine Emmys, one Grammy and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He also became an inspiration for generations of comedic talents.
In the foreword of his 2012 memoir, “I Remember Me,” actor and comedian Billy Crystal wrote that Reiner “is not just a funny man who has made us laugh in one form or another for a very long time.”