Funeral services were pending Tuesday for comedy legend Carl Reiner, creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and longtime comedic partner of Mel Brooks in numerous projects including the famed 2,000-year-old-man skit.
Reiner, a writer, producer, director and actor who was part of Sid Caesar’s legendary team, died of natural causes on Monday night at his Beverly Hills home. He was 98.
“Last night my dad passed away,” Reiner’s son, filmmaker and activist Rob Reiner, wrote on his Twitter page Tuesday. “As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.”
Carl Reiner was the winner of nine Emmy awards, including five for “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
His most popular films as a director included “Oh God,” starring George Burns, in 1977; “The Jerk,” with Steve Martin, in 1979; and “All of Me,” with Martin and Lily Tomlin, in 1984.
“Goodbye to my greatest mentor in movies and in life,” Martin wrote on his social media accounts. “Thank you, dear Carl.”
Reiner remained in the public eye well into his 80s and 90s with roles in the popular “Ocean’s Eleven” trio of films; and on TV with recurring roles on sitcoms “Two and a Half Men” and “Hot in Cleveland.”
He first came to prominence as a regular cast member of Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows,” for which he won two Emmys in 1956 and 1957 in the supporting category.
He met Mel Brooks during his time with Caesar, and the two went on to have a long-running friendship and comedy partnership, highlighted by their famed routine, “The 2000-Year-Old Man.”
His longevity made him a patriarch of comedy in Hollywood, an inspiration to generations of comics, filmmakers and performers.
“It will take a while to process losing Carl Reiner because he’s been making me laugh since I was little,” actor Michael McKean said. “That’s some very funny processing helping leaven the sadness. Thank you, Carl. You done good.”
Reiner’s longtime friend, “M*A*S*H” star Alan Alda, mourned his passing, writing, “His talent will live on for a long time, but the loss of his kindness and decency leaves a hole in our hearts. We love you, Carl.”
Reiner’s wife Estelle, to whom he had been married since 1943, died in 2008. In addition to Rob Reiner, survivors include his daughter Sylvia Anne and son Lucas.
Perhaps foreshadowing his death, Reiner posted on his Twitter page over the weekend, “Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I have lived the best life possible by having met & marrying the gifted Estelle (Stella) Lebost — who partnered with me in bringing Rob, Annie & Lucas Reiner into this needy & evolving world.”
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