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Remembering the Legendary Carl Reiner

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 08: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been shot in black and white. Color version not available.) Actor/director Carl Reiner speaks onstage at the screening of 'The Jerk' during the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival on April 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. 26657_003 (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TCM)

It is rare when writing up the passing of an entertainer that you can truly and without reservation call them a legend, but Carl Reiner was a legend. Reiner died last night at the age of 98 at his home of natural causes and he leaves behind a legacy of humor and warmth and accomplishment that is unmatched.

Reiner was a writer, actor, director, and comedian. He got into acting as part of a works project administration class in the Depression, created the iconic Dick Van Dyke show in 1960, and helped to change television and redefine comedy. He won over audiences in a comedy partnership with Mel Brooks with their “2000-year-old man” routine. He directed wonderful films like Oh, God!, The Jerk, and one of my all-time favorites, All Of Me. He acted in films from The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! all the way to the Ocean’s Eleven franchise and even a voice in Toy Story 4.

But what Reiner was, beyond a comedy icon, was a truly good man who inspired love and admiration in everyone he worked with. He was an unabashed supporter of progressive causes all the way to his death, and he meant to world to his family, which included his son Rob, who followed him into directing, and his best friend, Mel Brooks, with whom he shared dinner nearly every night.

Praise and condolences flooded social media to mark the passing of this icon.

Thanks for the laughter, Carl. May we all live to spread as much joy and kindness as you did.

(via EW, image: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TCM)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.