Carl Reiner  Another legend gone.

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Damn. A genius.

He was great as the harried father in The Russians Are Coming. Come to think of it, he was very good in everything I ever saw him.

I heard on the radio today that he named Dick Van Dyke's character Rob Petrie after his son, Rob Reiner, and the character Mel Cooley after his best friend and comedy partner, Mel Brooks.

Before The Dick Van Dyke Show, Carl Reiner tested the concept in a pilot, starring himself, titled Head of the Family. It flopped, but showed enough potential to be worth retooling.

Before the next try, producer Sheldon Leonard told Reiner, "We'll get a better actor to play you."

The Dick Van Dyke Show alone makes Carl Reiner legendary, but he had a decent run as a film director, including Steve Martin's first film, The Jerk.

And I particularly liked Reiner as the wise elder statesman con man Saul Bloom in the Ocean's Eleven films

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