Mar. 20th, 1922
The Bronx, New York
Carl Reiner's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Carl Reiner (born March 20, 1922) is an American actor, film director, producer, writer, and comedian. He has won nine Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award during his career.
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 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.
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 line "I'll have what she's having" in the deli scene of their son Rob's 1989 film When Harry Met Sally. She died on October 25, 2008, at age 94. Reiner is the father of actor-turned-director Rob Reiner (b. 1947), poet, playwright and author Sylvia Anne (Annie) Reiner (b. 1957), and painter, actor, and director Lucas Reiner (b. 1960).
Reiner, who is Jewish, has described himself as a Jewish atheist. He says, "I have a very different take on who God is. Man invented God because he needed him. God is us."
- Father of 'Rob Reiner' (qv), 'Sylivia Ann Reiner' (qv) and 'Lucas Reiner' (qv).
- His father was a watchmaker.
- He was awarded The Annual Kennedy Centre 'Mark Twain' (qv) Prize for Comedy.
- Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame and, in 2000, was awarded the 'Mark Twain' (qv) Prize for Comedy by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
- Made a best-selling album with 'Mel Brooks' (qv) called "2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks" which earned a Grammy nomination and ignited Carl's writing career.
- Former father-in-law of 'Penny Marshall (I)' (qv).
- Served in the Army in 1942 and was trained as a radio operator. He later was assigned to 'Maurice Evans (I)' (qv)' Special Entertainment Unit and toured the South Pacific as a comedian in GI reviews.
- Is the 1980 recipient of the prestigious Connor Award given by the brothers of the Phi Alpha Tau fraternity based out of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also an honorary brother of the fraternity.