Carl Reiner, creator of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' dead at 98
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Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy confirmed to Fox News he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., at 98 of natural causes.
Throughout his legendary career in showbusiness, Reiner earned countless awards, including several Emmys and a Grammy for best spoken comedy album alongside Mel Brooks for their album “The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000.”
In his later years, he stayed in the public eye thanks to a voice gig for “Toy Story 4.”
Younger fans may recognize him as one of Danny Ocean’s cadre of expert thieves in the “Oceans Eleven” trilogy. However, he’s perhaps best known for co-starring in “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which he also created. Reiner played comedian Alan Brady, who routinely terrorized Van Dyke’s character as well as his co-workers on the fictional TV show the character worked on.
Carl Reiner died in June 2020 at age 98. (Getty Images)
“When asked, ‘Of all the theatrical projects you’ve done in your life, what are you most proud of?’ I always say, hands down, it’s creating and producing ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’ It was a labor of love,” Reiner told Fox News in a statement in 2019.
In addition to his acting and TV work, he got behind the camera to co-write and direct some of Steve Martin’s most enduring hits, including the 1979 classic “The Jerk” as well as “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “The Man with Two Brains” and “All of Me.”
He was especially proud of his books, including “Enter Laughing,” an autobiographical novel later adapted into a film and Broadway show; and “My Anecdotal Life,” a memoir published in 2003. He recounted his childhood and creative journey in the 2013 book, “I Remember Me.”
The winner of the 2000 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was never shy about lending his iconic voice to animated characters. In addition to his work on “Toy Story 4,” Reiner's voice appeared in episodes of “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show” and in “The Penguins of Madagascar.”
Reiner’s wife, Estelle, died in 2008 at age 94. The acclaimed showbusiness personality had three kids, Annie, Lucas as well as actor and director Rob Reiner.
"Last night my dad passed away. As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light," Rob tweeted Tuesday.
Carl, who was born in the Bronx to Jewish immigrants, told Closer Weekly in 2019 that he spent his childhood watching movies featuring his favorite comedians. He said he was immediately hooked, leading to a long career of his own in comedy.
A happy group of Emmy owners get together following the 18th Annual Emmy Award Presentations here - and they all belong to the 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' a TV comedy series. Left to right: Bill Persky, Writing Achievement; Carl Reiner, Producer; Mary Tyler Moore, Continued Performance by an Actress; Dick Van Dyke, continued performance by an actor and Sam Denoff, Writing Achievement. It is the 3rd Emmy for Dick Van Dyke on the show and the 2nd for Miss Moore and the 16th Emmy for the show in five years. (Getty Images)
“My parents loved comedies so we saw Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, the Ritz Brothers and the Marx Brothers,” he told the publication. “I wanted to be one of them."
Even when Reiner was drafted to the Air Force during World War II, his dream of making audiences laugh never left his mind. In fact, he served as a radio operator and toured as an actor, entertaining troops in Guam, Hawaii and Iwo Jima.
“Going through war and living is a very important process,” he said at the time. "You realize how vulnerable you are and how lucky you are to be in the right place at the right time. As a matter of fact, I have a history of luck."
Fox News' Stephanie Nolasco and the Associated Press contributed to this report.