Death of Carl Reiner, pioneer of American comedy and one of the robbers of Ocean’s Eleven

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We will long remember his clever look in the saga of Steven Soderbergh Ocean’s Eleven alongside robber troop Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, led by George Clooney. Carl Reiner embodied with great pleasure and playfulness the role of Saul Bloom, an old burglar specializing in identity theft. A rising in the air at retirement but still ready to resume service for a few dollars more …

Pioneer of American comedy on television in the 1950s, father of the director of When Harry meets Sally, Rob Reiner, Carl Reiner passed away peacefully at the age of 98 on Monday June 29 in his home in Beverly Hills, California.

Born in New York on March 20, 1922, he was above all for seven decades one of the outstanding figures of visual humor, both on television and in the cinema. Son of a watchmaker born in the Bronx, he intended for comedy and entertainment as a teenager by joining a theater troupe with which he went on tour to play Shakespeare plays. But his life changed completely when he joined the body of signals of the American army during the Second World War.

Recruited into a special unit which organizes shows for the troops, Reiner begins to write and interpret his sketches. His first successes.

Returning to New York after the war, he appeared in several Broadway musicals. It was at this time that he entered television and met several future great comedians, from Mel Brooks, to Neil Simon, via Woody Allen and even Larry Gelbart. His friendship with Mel Brooks is great. Carl Reiner said that a few months ago, the two men continued to see each other and joke together.

Carl Reiner has never ceased to sharpen this facetious spirit over the years. In the 1950s, it was on the entertainment program Dick Van Dyke Show (from the name of the actor immortalized as a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins) that he begins to be talked about and his sketches. He will receive nine Emmy Awards during his television career.

In the 70s, Reiner made a decisive encounter, that of actor Steve Martin with whom he made several very successful comedies such as A real Schnock! (1979), then Corpses do not wear suits (1982), a formidable parody of private detective films, in which are integrated real extracts from film noir classics. At that time, he also signed, still with Steve Martin The Man with Two Brains (1983) and Solo for two (1984).

But the French know him especially in the role of Saul Bloom, in the saga of the films Ocean’s Eleven, alongside a fine team of thieves scouring Vegas casinos. He appeared in the first installment in 2001. Then returned in 2004 in Ocean’s Twelve. Then in 2007 in Ocean’s Thirteen. It will return to service for the last time in 2018 for Ocean’s Eigth, the female adaptation of the saga with Sandra Bullock.

Carl Reiner will have written four volumes of his memoirs, the last published in 2014 being entitled I Just Remembered. He also wrote children’s books. And we understand better why his son Rob Reiner realized in 1987 Princess Bride, comic fairy tale that became cult in the 80s. Like father like son …

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