Comedy legend Carl Reiner, 'Dick Van Dyke Show' creator, dead at 98

He passed away Monday night of natural causes.

June 30, 2020, 10:25 AM

Carl Reiner, one of the original kings of comedy, who created "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and directed Steve Martin's earliest films, has died at the age of 98.

Carl Reiner's assistant, Judy Nagy, confirmed to ABC News his passing last night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills.

Born Carlton Reiner on March 20, 1922, in New York City, Reiner showed an early interest in acting as a teenager. After serving as a radio operator in World War II, he began performing comedy at a resort in New Hampshire and later landed on Broadway in several musicals.

During the early years of television comedy, from 1950 to 1957, Reiner appeared in skits with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca in "Your Show of Shows," while working alongside the show's writers Mel Brooks and Neil Simon. Later, Reiner teamed up with Brooks playing the straight man to Brook's "2000 Year Old Man" in a series of skits they performed over several decades.

Using his experiences as a television writer, Reiner created "The Dick Van Dyke Show," starring Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore and occasionally himself as temperamental host Alan Brady.

When the show ended in 1966 after five seasons, Reiner began directing films, notably the box office hits "Oh, God!," starring George Burns," and "The Jerk," starring Steve Martin.

Reiner and Martin teamed up on three more films in the 1980s, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "The Man with Two Brains" and "All of Me."

In his later years, Reiner returned to the screen, making guest appearances on "Mad About You" and "Beggars and Choosers," and co-starring in the remake of the Rat Pack classic, "Ocean's Eleven" and the film's two sequels.

Reiner won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award during his career.

He is the father of actor and director Rob Reiner, author Annie Reiner and painter, actor and director Lucas Reiner. He was married to singer Estelle Lebost for 64 years until her death in 2008.