Gone But Never To Forgotten (A Memorial Page)



NEW YORK — Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight man to Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man,” has died. He was 98.

Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy said he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California.

He was one of show business’ best liked men, the tall, bald Reiner was a welcome face on the small and silver screens, in Caesar’s 1950s troupe, as the snarling, toupee-wearing Alan Brady of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and in such films as “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

In recent years, he was part of the roguish gang in the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies starring George Clooney and appeared in documentaries including “Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age” and “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.”

Tributes poured in online, including from actor Josh Gadd, who called Reiner “one of the greatest comedic minds of all time,” and writer Bill Kristol, who said: “What a life!” Actor Alan Alda tweeted: “His talent will live on for a long time, but the loss of his kindness and decency leaves a hole in our hearts.”

Films he directed included “Oh, God!” starring George Burns and John Denver; “All of Me,” with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin; and the 1970 comedy “Where’s Poppa?” He was especially proud of his books, including “Enter Laughing,” an autobiographical novel later adapted into a film and Broadway show; and “My Anecdotal Life,” a memoir published in 2003. He recounted his childhood and creative journey in the 2013 book, “I Remember Me.”

But many remember Reiner for “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” one of the most popular television series of all time and a model of ensemble playing, physical comedy and timeless, good-natured wit. It starred Van Dyke as a television comedy writer working for a demanding, eccentric boss (Reiner) and living with his wife (Mary Tyler Moore in her first major TV role) and young son in suburban New Rochelle, New York.

“The Van Dyke show is probably the most thrilling of my accomplishments because that was very, very personal,” Reiner once said. “It was about me and my wife, living in New Rochelle and working on the Sid Caesar show.”

Reiner is the father of actor-director Rob Reiner. The younger Reiner starred as Archie Bunker’s son-in-law on “All in the Family,” and went on to direct such films as “When Harry Met Sally …” and “The Princess Bride.” Carl Reiner would praise Rob as his favorite director, and Rob would speak with open admiration, and some trepidation, about his famous dad.

“He was the nicest man, a decent man, an intelligent man, and talented, and everybody liked him,” Rob Reiner told The Associated Press in 1992.

Rob Reiner said in a tweet Tuesday that his “heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.”

Carl Reiner won multiple Emmys for his television work. In 2000, he received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Humor. When the sound system failed at the start of the ceremonies, Reiner called from the balcony, “Does anybody have four double-A batteries?”

Besides “All of Me,” Reiner directed Martin in “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “The Man With Two Brains” and “The Jerk.”

Carl Reiner was born in 1922, in New York City’s borough of the Bronx, one of two sons of Jewish immigrants: Irving Reiner, a watchmaker, and his wife, Bessie. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood, where he learned to mimic voices and tell jokes. After high school, Reiner attended drama school, then joined a small theater group.

“It was a terrific experience, but I wasn’t getting any money for it,” he told the Akron Beacon Journal in 1963. “I got uppity one day — after all, the audience was paying from 22 to 88 cents for admission — and I demanded to be paid. They settled for $1 a performance and I … became their highest-priced actor.”

During World War II, Reiner joined the Army and toured South Pacific bases in GI variety shows for a year and a half. Back out of uniform, he landed several stage roles, breaking through on Broadway in “Call Me Mister.”

He married his wife, Estelle, in 1943. Besides son Rob, the couple had another son, Lucas, a film director, and a daughter, Sylvia, a psychoanalyst and author. Estelle Reiner, who died in 2008, had a small but memorable role in Rob Reiner’s “When Harry Met Sally…” — as the woman who overhears Meg Ryan’s ersatz ecstasy in a restaurant and says, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Reiner’s death was first reported Tuesday by celebrity website TMZ.

Well it is starting to happen. The Pop and Rock stars of my generation are starting to pass on just this weekend we lost Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek.
For the younger on this site Ric was the lead singer of a band called the “Cars” he passed from heart disease. Eddie passed from cancer.
I personally am so sorry for the loss of the two wonderful talents. As a DJ I played a lot of their music many times over the years. My personal prayers go out to the family’s of the men. I hope they had a personal relationship with God. R.I.P. guys.
Brian Slaton Site owner.

Legendary fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld, has died, according to sad new reports on Feb. 19. He was 85 years old.

Karl Lagerfeld is dead at the age of 85, multiple French media outlets are reporting on Feb. 19. The designer, who is best known for his work as the Creative Director for Chanel, had been working hard up until the time of his death. At the moment, there are no details regarding this tragic news, and Karl’s team has not confirmed the reports. However, sources close to Chanel confirmed to The Guardian that the sad news is true. A cause of death has yet to be revealed.

Less than one month before his death, Karl missed the Chanel spring 2019 haute couture show in Paris, which was an extremely rare occurrence for him. Afterward, his team confirmed that he had been unable to attend because he was “feeling tired.” The brand’s director of the creative studio of the house, Virginie Viard, represented Karl at the event instead. However, back in December, Karl traveled to New York to attend another Chanel show. The Paris show in January was the first time he missed out on representing himself.

Karl got his start in the fashion industry by working as Pierre Balmain’s assistant. After three years, he moved onto work for Jean Patou, where he began designing haute couture collections for the brand. At this time, his collections were not well-received, and Karl took a two-year break from the industry. He returned in 1963 as a designer for Tiziani, where he worked for the next six years. He also freelanced for Chloe during this time, and began designing full collections for the brand in 1970, while also doing work for Fendi.

Eventually, Karl gained international fame, and became the Creative Director of Chanel in 1983, where he worked until the time of his death. Karl has worked closely with celebrities like Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus, Kendall Jenner Cara Delevingne and more. He also had a fashion label under his own name, Karl Lagerfeld.


Penny Marshall, the nasally, good-natured Bronx native who starred on the ABC ratings sensation Laverne & Shirley before shattering records as a top-grossing female director in Hollywood, has died. She was 75.

The younger sister of the late writer-director-producer Garry Marshall and the first wife of actor-director Rob Reiner, Marshall died in her Hollywood Hills home on Monday night from complications from diabetes, her publicist Michelle Bega told The Hollywood Reporter. She was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in 2009.

She was a very funny and classy lady. One of the finest directors of our or time. She will be missed in this world. Give ’em a grate show in heaven Penny. Signed Brian a big fan of her work.


“Get on the stage,” Kenneth Ronald Berry

Kenneth Ronald Berry was born on Nov. 3, 1933, in Moline, Ill., a small city in the northwestern part of the state. He was the younger of two children of Daniel Berry, an accountant, and Bernice Berry. Ken was 12 or 13, he recalled as an adult, when he saw children his own age performing at a carnival and decided on the spot to become a dancer when he grew up — or even before.

Idolizing Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire and hoping to be in movie musicals one day, he began tap lessons. At 15, he won a local talent competition and was invited by its organizer, the big band leader Horace Heidt, to join his touring company.

Ken Berry, the boyish television actor who played nice guys with affable attitudes and a wide range of I.Q.s on three popular sitcoms between 1965 and 1990, died on Saturday in Burbank, Calif. He was 85. The death was confirmed by a spokeswoman at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, The Associated Press said.

Mr. Berry was a handsome, accident-prone 1860s Army captain who got along remarkably well with his Native American neighbors in the farcical “F Troop” (1965-67); a widowed North Carolina farmer with a small son and no housekeeping skills, replacing Andy Griffith when “The Andy Griffith Show” evolved into “Mayberry R.F.D.” (1968-71); and a hapless Southern husband and son in “Mama’s Family” (1983-84, 1986-90), a successful spinoff from “The Carol Burnett Show.”

In a 2012 Archive of American Television interview, Mr. Berry said that his time on “F Troop” had been his most cherished, partly because it was his first starring television role and partly because he was allowed to contribute to the character’s comic persona.

“To be entrusted with that on that level was a big treat for me,” he recalled. Capt. Wilton Parmenter, his character, was a bumbling accidental hero who was involved in more pratfalls than you might expect from the dignified leader of a strategically important Western fort.

“I have never been that happy in my life,” he said of those years. “I just walked on air for a long time.” And best of all, “I knew how lucky I was at the time.” The show became an even bigger hit in reruns.

“Mama’s Family” (not in the short-lived network version but in its second, syndicated incarnation) turned him into Vinton Harper, a son of Vicki Lawrence’s grouchy gray-haired character, a simple man described by Mr. Berry as “a good-natured guy” who is “dumb, and he knows he’s dumb.” But he took no credit for that characterization, praising the show’s writers instead. “It was all on the page,” he said.

Mr. Berry’s Army service, after high school, turned out to be a helpful career move. His sergeant in Special Services was Leonard Nimoy, the future “Star Trek” star, who made some Hollywood contacts for him, particularly with agents. Mr. Berry also won two military talent competitions, which resulted in television appearances in New York, including one on Ed Sullivan’s weekly variety show, “The Toast of the Town.”

Music, not acting, was his first career priority. (“I thought acting was something you did between numbers,” he said.) But he eventually had some words of wisdom for aspiring actors.

“Get on the stage,” he said in the 2012 interview. “Get on your feet. You’ll learn more from that the first time out than you’ll ever learn from any class.”



Question: Which President was once the youngest Navy Pilot in the armed forces?

This question is from a site I love, and that I get every day in my E-mail. It’s fun. And there not all easy questions. I myself have a 61% right answer. The site is called triviatoday.com. And best of all it is free. So go get your brain fix each day.

Answer: When George H.W. Bush got his wings in World War II, he was the youngest pilot in the United States Navy. He enlisted on his 18th birthday and eventually flew fifty-eight combat missions. On one mission over the Pacific, he was shot down by Japanese anti-aircraft fire and rescued by a U.S. submarine. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery. George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, who lived longer than any of his predecessors and possessed one of the most impressive resumes in American political history, died on November 30th, 2018 at the age of 94.

I don’t care if you like the mans politics or not he was a great man. He lived his life in service to our country. First in the U.S. Navy then in the C.I.A. then as the 41st President of OUR country. So put your hate aside love our country, and say a prayer for the family. I believe that he is with his beloved wife Barbra and their daughter in heaven. Along with my Dad and Mom who are all looking down and wondering if we will ever get along and work for the good of all. Remember we are all in this thing called life together. God Bless you and God bless America.