Los Angeles Times
Remembering Carl Reiner: Rob Reiner, Bette Midler, Alan Alda salute a ‘comedy genius’
By CHRISTI CARRAS
JUNE 30, 2020
“Last night my dad passed away,” Carl Reiner’s son Rob Reiner tweeted Tuesday morning. “As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.”
Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke, Alan Alda, Bette Midler, William Shatner, Steve Martin, Mitzi Gaynor, Al Roker, Ed Asner, Ron Howard, Jerry Seinfeld, Mia Farrow, Josh Gad, Stephen King, Yvette Nicole Brown, George Takei, John Cusack, and many more stars have honored the veteran comedy actor, writer, director, and producer on social media.
Carl Reiner himself was active on Twitter and recently shared a sweet tribute to his family before his death.
“Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I have lived the best life possible by having met & marrying the gifted Estelle (Stella) Lebost — who partnered with me in bringing Rob, Annie & Lucas Reiner into this needy & evolving world,” he wrote Saturday in a tweet that has picked up viral attention in the wake of his death.
Reiner’s longtime comedic partner, Brooks, recalled meeting Reiner “in 1950 when he joined Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows” and enjoying each other’s company as “best friends ever since.”
“Carl was a giant, unmatched in his contributions to entertainment,” Brooks wrote in a statement. “I loved him. When we were doing The 2000 Year Old Man together there was no better straight man in the world. So whether he wrote or performed or he was just your best friend—nobody could do it better.
“He’ll be greatly missed. A tired cliché in times like this, but in Carl Reiner’s case it’s absolutely true. He will be greatly missed.”
Alda, another close friend of Reiner’s, was among the first to salute him on Twitter, writing, “His talent will live on for a long time, but the loss of his kindness and decency leaves a hole in our hearts.”
“We love you, Carl,” he added, along with a cheerful photo of himself, Reiner and Brooks.
One of Reiner’s most beloved career contributions was the 1960s TV classic “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” starring Van Dyke, who penned a touching appreciation of Reiner and his work late Tuesday morning.
“My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy,” Van Dyke tweeted. “He had a deeper understanding of the human condition, than I think even he was aware of. Kind, gentle, compassionate, empathetic and wise. His scripts were never just funny, they always had something to say about us.”
Also among his industry admirers was Midler, who starred in the 1997 romantic comedy “That Old Feeling” — the last film Reiner directed.
Gaynor, who famously tangoed with Reiner for her Emmy-winning 1976 special, “Mitzi … Roarin’ in the ‘20s,” fondly remembered him as “a genius, a good friend, & a true gent.”
“What a joyful gift [Carl Reiner] was in my life & in the lives of everyone who enjoyed his towering talent,” she tweeted. “I’ll cherish the memory of the times we spent together, & the laughter we shared. My love to his beautiful family & friends.”
Screen icon Shatner joined in celebrating Reiner’s memory by highlighting some of his greatest comedy hits.
“From the writers room of Sid Caesar to recreating those times for the Dick Van Dyke show, Carl was a master at his craft, ” Shatner wrote. “I knew him only peripherally, but it was a pleasure to have known him.”
Another of Reiner’s longtime entertainment peers, Ed Asner, also offered his condolences to the family of the comedic mastermind and wrote, “There will forever only be one of him. May his memory be forever blessed. He leaves us with so much laughter.”