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Carl Reiner (1922)

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  Summary  

Carl Reiner is an American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian. He has won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award during this career. He has the distinction of being the only person to appear on The Tonight Show with each of its five hosts.

  Biography  

 early life
Reiner was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of Bessie (née Mathias) and Irving Reiner, who was a watchmaker. His parents were Jewish immigrants, his father from Romania and his mother from Austria. When he was sixteen, his older brother Charlie read in the New York Daily News about a free dramatic workshop being put on by the Works Progress Administration and told him about it. He had been working as a machinist fixing sewing machines. He credits Charlie with changing his career plans. Reiner was educated at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and served in the United States Army Special Services during World War II.

 career
Reiner performed in several Broadway musicals, including Inside U.S.A., and Alive and Kicking, and had the lead role in Call Me Mister. In 1950, he was cast by producer Max Leibman in Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, appearing on air in skits while also working alongside writers such as Mel Brooks and Neil Simon. He also worked on Caesar's Hour with Brooks, Simon, Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, Mike Stewart, Aaron Ruben, Sheldon Keller and Gary Belkin.

Starting in 1960, on the Steve Allen Show, Reiner teamed with Mel Brooks as a comedy duo. Their performances on stage and television included Reiner playing the straight man to Brooks' 2000 Year Old Man character. The routine eventually expanded into a series of five comedy albums and a 1975 animated TV special.

In 1959, Reiner developed a television pilot, Head of the Family, based on his experience on the Caesar shows. However, the network didn't like Reiner in the lead role. In 1961, it was recast and retitled The Dick Van Dyke Show, and became an iconic series, making stars of his lead actors Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. In addition to writing many of the episodes, Reiner occasionally appeared as temperamental show host "Alan Brady", who ruthlessly browbeats his brother-in-law . The show ran from 1961 to 1966. In 1966, he co-starred in the Norman Jewison film The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.

Reiner began his directing career on the Van Dyke show. After that show ended its run, Reiner's first film feature was an adaptation of Joseph Stein's play Enter Laughing , which in turn was based on Reiner's semi-autobiographical 1958 novel of the same name. Balancing writing, directing, producing, and acting, Reiner has worked on a wide range of films and television programs. Probably the best-known films of his early directing career were the cult comedy Where's Poppa? , starring George Segal and Ruth Gordon, Oh, God! with George Burns and The Jerk with Steve Martin.

Reiner played a large role in the early career of Steve Martin, by directing and co-writing four films for the comedian: The Jerk in 1979, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid in 1982, The Man with Two Brains in 1983, and All of Me in 1984. Reiner also appeared in The Jerk.

In 1989, he directed Bert Rigby, You're a Fool. In 2000, Reiner was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. A year later, he played thief and con man Saul Bloom in Steven Soderbergh's remake of Ocean's Eleven and has reprised that role in its sequels, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen. In 2004 he voiced the lion Sarmoti in the animated TV series Father of the Pride.

Reiner has also written a number of books, including memoirs like 2004's My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir, and novels like 2006's NNNNN: A Novel. In American Film, Reiner expressed his philosophy on writing comedy thus:

In May 2009, Reiner guest starred as a clinic patient on the season finale of the hit Fox series House. He also lent his voice to the character of Santa Claus in the NBC Christmas special Merry Madagascar in November 2009, and reprised his role as Santa in The Penguins of Madagascar holiday special "The All Nighter Before Christmas. In December 2009, Reiner guest-starred as legendary TV producer Marty Pepper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. In June 2010, Reiner guest starred in TV Land's new series "Hot in Cleveland" as Elka Ostrovsky's date; a role that he reprised again in July 2010. Reiner also made guest appearances on The Cleveland Show as Murray and wrote the story for the episode "Your Show of Shows", which is named after the very
program where his career started.

 personal life
On December 24, 1943, Reiner married singer Estelle Lebost. The two were married 64 years until her death in 2008. At the time of the marriage he was 21 and she was 29. Estelle is probably best remembered for her one line—"I'll have what she's having"—in the deli scene in their son Rob's 1989 hit, When Harry Met Sally. She died on October 25, 2008, at age 94.

Reiner is the father of actor-turned-director, Rob Reiner, , poet, playwright and author Sylvia Anne Reiner , and painter, actor, and director Lucas Reiner .

Reiner, who was raised Jewish and remains proud of his Jewish heritage, has described himself as a Jewish atheist. He says that "I have a very different take on who God is. Man invented God because he needed him. God is us."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Carl Reiner", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.