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Carl Reiner

REINER, CARL (1922– ), writer, actor, and director. Born in the Bronx, New York, Reiner first came to prominence as an actor and writer for two seminal TV programs, Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows (1950–54) and The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–66), for which Reiner won several Emmy Awards. Moving to feature films, Reiner began his career by directing a filmed version of his 1958 semiautobiographical novel Enter Laughing (1967). He went on to direct and sometimes cowrite such comedies as The Comic (1969), Where's Poppa? (1970), Oh God! (1977), The One and Only (1978), The Jerk (1979), Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982), The Man with Two Brains (1983), All of Me (1984), Summer Rental (1985), Summer School (1987), Bert Rigby, You're a Fool (1989), Sibling Rivalry (1990), Fatal Instinct (1993), and That Old Feeling (1997).

A familiar figure on both the small and the silver screen, Reiner appeared in such films as The Gazebo (1959), The Thrill of It All (1963), The Art of Love (1965), The Russians Are Coming… (1966), Generation (1969), The Spirit of '76 (1990), and Slums of Beverly Hills (1998). On TV, from 1954 he was a guest on dozens of programs, from The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and The Carol Burnett Show to Ally McBeal, Life with Bonnie, Ellen, and Boston Legal. He also appeared many times on television and in a series of record albums (first released in 1960) as straight man to Mel Brooks in their comedy routine "The 2000-Year-Old Man."

Among his many honors and awards, including 12 Emmys and a Grammy, Reiner won the American Comedy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1992; he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1999; and in 2000 he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for Comedy by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Reiner wrote All Kinds of Love (1993), Continue Laughing (1995), The 2000-Year-Old Man in the Year 2000 (with Mel Brooks, 1997), How Paul Robeson Saved My Life and Other Mostly Happy Stories (1999), Tell Me a Scary Story …but Not Too Scary (2003), and My Anecdotal Life: A Memoir (2003).

His son is film director Rob *Reiner.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.