Carl Reiner, who as performer, author and director earned a spot in comedy historical past a number of instances over, died on Monday night time at his residence in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 98.
His demise was confirmed by his daughter, Annie Reiner.
Mr. Reiner first attracted nationwide consideration in 1950 as Sid Caesar’s multitalented second banana on the tv selection present “Your Show of Shows,” for which he was additionally a author. A decade later he created “The Dick Van Dyke Present,” one of the celebrated state of affairs comedies in tv historical past, and teamed with Mel Brooks on the vastly profitable “2000 Year Old Man” information. His novel “Enter Laughing” grew to become each successful Broadway play and the primary of many motion pictures he would direct; among the many others had been 4 of Steve Martin’s early starring automobiles.
He gained reward as an actor as properly, with memorable roles in movies like “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and, extra just lately, “Ocean’s Eleven” and its sequels. However he spent most of his profession simply barely out of the highlight, letting others get the laughs.
His contributions had been acknowledged by his friends, by comedy afici8onados and, in 2000, by the Kennedy Heart, which awarded him the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He was the third recipient, after Richard Pryor and Jonathan Winters.
In his performances with Mr. Brooks and earlier than that with Mr. Caesar, Mr. Reiner specialised in portraying the voice of sanity, a relaxed presence in a chaotic universe. However regardless of his declare on the contrary, he was by no means “simply the straight man.”
Mr. Reiner was a gifted comedian actor, however he spent most of his profession barely out of the highlight — writing, directing and letting others get the laughs.
Credit score…Related Press
“He was a comic himself, and he actually understood and nonetheless understands comedy,” Mr. Caesar stated of Mr. Reiner in his guide “Caesar’s Hours” (2003), written with Eddy Friedfeld. “Most individuals nonetheless don’t understand the significance of a straight man in comedy, or how troublesome that position is. Carl needed to make his timing my timing.”
Mr. Reiner was, Mr. Caesar added, “the most effective straight man I’ve ever labored with.”
As a part of a stellar supporting solid that additionally included Imogene Coca and Howard Morris, Mr. Reiner proved his versatility week after week on “Your Present of Reveals,” which ran from 1950 to 1954 on NBC and established the template for sketch comedy on tv. He played all the things from a harried commuter to a frenzied rock ’n’ curler to an unctuous quiz-show host. However he’s most likely greatest remembered as an interviewer, solemnly posing inquiries to a mad professor, a spaced-out jazz musician or another over-the-top character performed by Mr. Caesar, and including to the humor just by being critical.
Mr. Reiner contributed behind the scenes as properly. He took half within the frenzied writing periods that formed the present, bouncing jokes off the partitions of the writers’ room with the likes of Mr. Brooks and Neil Simon.
“I grew to become a author due to that room,” he recalled. “I’d say one thing and anyone would yell: ‘What have you learnt? You’re not a author.’ So I grew to become a author.”
He characterised his later profession strikes with related self-effacing humor in an NPR interview: “I acted like a director. I acted like a producer. I sat in entrance of a typewriter and acted like a novelist.”
Mr. Reiner’s affiliation with Mr. Caesar encompassed three completely different collection: After “Your Present of Reveals” the 2 labored collectively on “Caesar’s Hour,” which had a three-year run on NBC, and “Sid Caesar Invitations You,” a failed try to recapture the “Present of Reveals” spirit that lasted lower than one season on ABC in 1958.