NEW YORK (AP) — Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight man to Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man,” has died. He was 98.
Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy said he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. Reiner was the father of actor-director Rob Reiner, who tweeted that his “heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.” The younger Reiner starred as Archie Bunker’s son-in-law on “All in the Family” and directed “When Harry Met Sally...”
Carl Reiner was one of show business’ best-liked men, and his was a welcome face on the small and silver screens: In Caesar’s 1950s troupe; as the self-absorbed, toupee-wearing Alan Brady of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”; and in such films as “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”
In recent years, he was part of the roguish gang in the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies starring George Clooney and appeared in documentaries including “Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age” and “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.”
Tributes poured in online, including from Steve Martin, who said: “Goodbye to my greatest mentor in movies and in life. Thank you, dear Carl.” Actor Josh Gad called Reiner “one of the greatest comedic minds of all time” and Sarah Silverman said ”his humanity was beyond compare.”