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Biography #2

Carl Reiner, depending on who you talk to, is best known as a co-star on the legendary television program Your Show of Shows.. or as the creator and co-star of The Dick Van Dyke Show.. or as The Interviewer of The 2,000 Year Old Man.. or as a director of feature films, including The Jerk, All of Me and Oh, God!.. or as father of actor-writer-director-producer Rob Reiner and husband of jazz vocalist Estelle Reiner.. or as the recipient of twelve Emmy Awards.. or..

Born in the Bronx, at age sixteen Reiner took a job as a machinist helper in the millinery trade. He simultaneously enrolled in drama school for eight months and landed a part as a second tenor in an updated version of The Merry Widow.

He trained as a radio operator in the Air Force during World War II and was assigned to Georgetown University to study French in order to become an interpreter. He subsequently worked as a teletype operator in the Signal Corps and later as a comedian and actor with Maurice Evans' Special Services Entertainment Unit, touring the Pacific for eighteen months in GI revues.

Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, Reiner won the leading role in the national company of Call Me Mister and after three more years in various Broadway musicals, he joined Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on Your Show of Shows.

In 1958, his autobiographical novel, Enter Laughing was published. The book became the basis for a Broadway play (adapted by Joe Stein) and feature film (directed and co-produced by Reiner).

In 1961, Reiner conceived The Dick Van Dyke Show, which would become one of the most famous and best-loved sitcoms in television history. Audiences have never forgotten his co-starring role on the show as the toupee-wearing producer Alan Brady. That same year, he wrote his first feature film, The Thrill of It All, for Doris Day and James Garner.

Other feature film credits as a director include The Comic, co-written by Reiner and Aaron Ruben; Where's Poppa? which starred George Segal and Ruth Gordon; Oh, God! starring George Burns; four films with Steve Martin: The Jerk, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The Man With Two Brains and All of Me; Summer Rental, with John Candy; The One and Only, with Henry Winkler; Summer School, with Mark Harmon; Bert Rigby, You're a Fool, which he also wrote; Sibling Rivalry, with Kirstie Alley; Fatal Instinct, with Armand Assante and Kate Nelligan, and That Old Feeling, with Bette Midler and Dennis Farina.

Reiner and Mel Brooks released a CD and book with new material in 1997, entitled The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000.

Among his acting credits are a starring role in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, and featured or cameo roles in It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Gazebo, Generation, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, The End and The Slums of Beverly Hills. His television acting credits include feature roles in Beggars and Choosers and Family Law.

In 1999, Reiner published his fourth book How Paul Robson Saved My Life, and Other Mostly Happy Stories. His second novel, All Kinds of Love was published in 1993 while 1995 saw his third novel, Continue Laughing published.

Last October, Reiner received the 3rd Mark Twain in Humor Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington. In 1999, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. That same year, he and Mel Brooks received a Best Spoken Word/Comedy Album Grammy Award for "The Two Thousand Year Old Man in the Year 2000, The Album."

Reiner and his wife of 56 years, Estelle, are the parents of two other children: Annie and Lucas.

Bio courtesy Warner Bros. (31-Jul-2002)


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