DGA Statement on the Passing of Carl Reiner

Carl Reiner (1922–2020)

June 30, 2020

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Thomas Schlamme made the following statement upon learning of the passing of Carl Reiner:

“Our world is sadder today with the loss of DGA Honorary Life Member Carl Reiner. Carl was one of the great talents spanning multiple generations both in front of and behind the camera. A major Hollywood heavyweight, he was a shaper of the Golden Age of Television, a gifted filmmaker, an enduring comedic legend and a force on stage. To add to that, he was so incredibly generous and giving of himself, as a close collaborator with the giants of the past and present, a mentor and inspiration to many, and as a treasured member of the DGA family.

“At the DGA, we were also the lucky beneficiaries of Carl’s extraordinary humor and wit as he emceed our annual DGA Awards a record 23 times. Carl always made our special evening a family-affair, like going to your favorite uncle’s house, if your uncle happened to be a comedic genius. He did it all with heart and passion as we celebrated our shared love for the craft of directing together. It’s a legacy we continue to keep alive today.

“For all these reasons and so many more, it was with great joy and deep respect for his many contributions to our members and industry that we bestowed upon Carl the DGA Honorary Life Membership Award in 2007.  We will forever hold him in the highest regard. Our hearts are with Rob and the entire Reiner family.”

DGA Service/Awards

Carl Reiner became a DGA member in 1966. In 2007, the DGA bestowed upon Reiner the Honorary Life Membership Award in recognition of his service to the Guild and his outstanding creative achievements. Reiner served as Master of Ceremonies for the annual DGA Awards for nearly a quarter century, hosting a record 23 times between 1987 and 2011.


Carl Reiner has had a long, varied, and distinguished career as an entertainer. He entered show business in the army during WWII when a fortuitous encounter with comedian Howard Morris led to an audition to entertain the troops in Maurice Evans’ GI Revue. After the war, Reiner began his prolific writing and acting career, writing for variety shows, live anthology dramas and sitcoms during the “Golden Age” of television. His credits include Caesar’s Hour, Your Show of Shows, Playhouse 90, Kraft Television Theater, and later, The Dick van Dyke Show, which Reiner also produced. At the same time, Reiner acted in films like It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and The Russians Are Coming, among others. He also teamed with Mel Brooks for their hugely successful comedy routine, The 2000-Year-Old Man.

Reiner began directing feature films in 1967 with the semi-autobiographical Enter Laughing, from his book about breaking into show business. He went on to direct such beloved comedies as Where's Poppa?, The Comic, Oh, God!, The Jerk, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Summer School, Bert Rigby, You’re A Fool and That Old Feeling.

Lily Bedrossian -
Director of Media Relations
(310) 289-5334