Carl Reiner

On this date in 1922, the great Carl Reiner was born in the Bronx, New York. His parents were Jewish immigrants. Reiner started his distinguished career in Broadway musicals and then broke into comedy in 1960 on “The Steve Allen Show.” Among his lifetime achievements in writing, directing, producing and acting for television and film, Reiner is probably most noted for creating, directing and frequently appearing in the hit series “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-1966). Other notables include directing “Oh, God!” (1977), starring George Burns, and directing and co-writing four Steve Martin films including “The Jerk” (1979), “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid” (1982), “The Man With Two Brains” (1983) and “All of Me” (1984). In 2007, the Director’s Guild of America honored him with an Honorary Life Member award. Over his career he won eight prime-time Emmy Awards in writing, directing and acting. Reiner also writes books, including NNNNN: A Novel (2006), featuring a “Jewish atheist” main character. In 1943, Reiner married Estelle Lebost, who died at age 94 in 2008. They had three children together including Rob Reiner, the famous actor and director. 

"I am an atheist. I have a very different take on who God is. Man invented God because he needed him. God is us."

—Carl Reiner in “Carl Reiner’s big break,” by Susan King in The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 21, 2009

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

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