Comedian and ‘Dick Van Dyke Show’ creator Carl Reiner dead at 98

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Legendary comic writer and actor Carl Reiner, star of ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ series, has died in Los Angeles, aged 98.

Reiner, who once quipped that his morning routine involves scanning newspaper obituary pages for his own name – adding “If I’m not listed, I have my breakfast” – passed away in his Beverly Hills home on Tuesday of natural causes, an assistant told the media.

His career spanned seven decades, and his name has been credited on more than 400 theater, cinema, and television productions. Reiner co-wrote and acted in ‘Caesar’s Hour’ and ‘Your Show of Shows’ in the 1950s, and collaborated with comic legend Mel Brooks in ‘The 2000 Year Old Man’, an award-winning routine that would endure for two decades.

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However, he is best known for creating ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’, a 1960s television staple that would go on to pick up 15 Emmy awards in its lifetime. Van Dyke himself described Reiner as “the best writer in the world,” and a man who “understood everyone’s way of speaking, the cadence, the intonation, everything.”

Reiner continued to act, write, and take voice roles well into his later years. New generations of fans saw him play a wiseguy conman in the ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ series, watched his cameos in ‘Two and a Half Men’, and heard him voice characters in ‘Family Guy’, ‘American Dad’, and ‘King of the Hill’.

“Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I have lived the best life possible by having met & marrying the gifted Estelle (Stella) Lebost,” Reiner tweeted just two days before his death, “who partnered with me in bringing Rob, Annie & Lucas Reiner into to this needy & evolving world.”

Reiner’s wife passed away in 2008. He is survived by his three children, among them actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner.

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