Robert Reiner (born March 6, 1947) is an American actor and filmmaker. As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence with the role of Michael "Meathead" Stivic on the CBS sitcom All in the Family (1971–1979), a performance that earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards.
March 6, 1947
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
(m. 1971; div. 1981)
|Children||4, including Tracy Reiner|
As a director, Reiner was recognized by the Directors Guild of America Awards with nominations for the coming of age drama Stand by Me (1986), the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989), and the military courtroom drama A Few Good Men (1992), the last of which also earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Picture. He has also received four nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Director.
Reiner's other major directorial film credits include the heavy metal mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984), the romantic comedy fantasy adventure The Princess Bride (1987), the psychological horror-thriller Misery (1990), the critically panned comedy North (1994), the romantic comedy-drama The American President (1995), "Rumor Has It" (2005) and the buddy comedy-drama The Bucket List (2007).
Reiner also appeared in a number of his films and various others, including Throw Momma from the Train (1987), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), The First Wives Club (1996), Primary Colors (1998), EDtv (1999), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
Early life Edit
Reiner was born into a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York, on March 6, 1947. His parents were Estelle Reiner (née Lebost; 1914–2008), an actress, and Carl Reiner (1922–2020), a renowned comedian, actor, writer, producer and director. As a child, Reiner lived at 48 Bonnie Meadow Road in New Rochelle, New York; the home of the fictional Petrie family in The Dick Van Dyke Show, created by Rob's father, was 148 Bonnie Meadow Road. He studied at the UCLA Film School.
In the early 1960s Reiner served as a trainee/apprentice at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania. In the late 1960s, Reiner acted in bit roles in several television shows including Batman, That Girl, The Andy Griffith Show, Room 222, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and The Beverly Hillbillies. During this time he also appeared in several films, including some by his father such as Where's Poppa? (1970). He began his career writing for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968 and 1969, with Steve Martin as his writing partner as the two youngest writers on the show.
Two years later, Reiner became famous playing Michael Stivic, Archie Bunker's liberal son-in-law, on Norman Lear's 1970s situation comedy All in the Family, which was the most-watched television program in the United States for five seasons (1971–1976). The character's nickname "Meathead" (given to him by his cantankerous father-in-law Archie) became closely associated with him, even after he had left the role and went on to build a career as a director. Reiner has stated, "I could win the Nobel Prize and they'd write 'Meathead wins the Nobel Prize'." For his performance, Reiner won two Emmy Awards, in addition to three other nominations, and five Golden Globe nominations. After an extended absence, Reiner returned to television acting with a recurring role on New Girl (2012–2018).
In October 1971, he had a guest role in an episode of The Partridge Family. In 1972, Reiner, Phil Mishkin, and Gerry Isenberg created the situation comedy The Super for ABC. Starring Richard S. Castellano, the show depicted the life of the harried Italian American superintendent of a New York City apartment building and ran for 10 episodes in the summer of 1972. Reiner and Mishkin co-wrote the premiere episode.
Beginning in the 1980s, Reiner became known as a director of several successful Hollywood films that spanned many different genres. Some of his earlier films include cult classics such as the rock-band mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984) and the comedic fantasy film The Princess Bride (1987), as well as his period piece coming of age tale Stand by Me (1986). He often collaborates with film editor Robert Leighton, whom he also shares with fellow director-actor Christopher Guest as their go-to editor.
Reiner has gone on to direct other critically and commercially successful films with his own company, Castle Rock Entertainment. These include the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989), which has been critically ranked among the all-time best of its genre, the tense thriller Misery (1990), for which Kathy Bates won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and his most commercially successful work, the military courtroom drama A Few Good Men (1992), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Subsequent films directed by Reiner include the political romance The American President (1995), the courtroom drama Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), and the uplifting comedy The Bucket List (2007).
Reiner has continued to act in supporting roles in a number of films and television shows, including Throw Momma from the Train (1987), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Bullets over Broadway (1994), The First Wives Club (1996), Primary Colors (1998), EDtv (1999), New Girl (2012–2018), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). He has also parodied himself with cameos in works such as Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003), and 30 Rock (2010).
Political views Edit
Reiner has devoted considerable time and energy to liberal activism. His lobbying as an anti-smoking advocate, in particular, prompted his likeness to be used in a satirical role in a South Park episode titled "Butt Out".
In 1998, Reiner chaired the campaign to pass Prop 10, the California Children and Families Initiative, which created First 5 California, a program of early childhood development services, funded by a tax on tobacco products. He served as the first chairman of First 5 California, from 1999 to 2006. Reiner came under criticism for campaigning for a ballot measure (Prop 82) to fund state-run preschools while still chair of the First Five Commission, causing him to resign from his position on March 29, 2006. An audit was conducted, and it concluded that the state commission did not violate state law and that it had clear legal authority to conduct its public advertising campaigns related to preschool. Prop 82 failed to win approval, garnering only 39.1% support.
Reiner is a member of the Social Responsibility Task Force, an organization advocating moderation where social issues (such as violence and tobacco use) and the entertainment industry meet. He is also active in environmental issues, and he successfully led the effort to establish California's Ahmanson Ranch as a state park and wildlife refuge rather than as a commercial real estate development. He introduced Spinal Tap at the London Live Earth concert in July 2007.
Reiner was mentioned as a possible candidate to run against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 but decided not to run for personal reasons. He campaigned extensively for Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, and he campaigned in Iowa for Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean just before the 2004 Iowa caucuses. He endorsed Hillary Clinton for president for the 2008 election. In 2015, he donated US$10,000 to Correct the Record, a political action committee that supported Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Since the 2016 election, he has continued to campaign against Donald Trump, calling him racist, sexist, anti-gay, and anti-Semitic. Reiner said that Harvey Weinstein is a "bad guy" but Trump is "also an abuser".
Reiner serves on the advisory board of the Committee to Investigate Russia. He and David Frum launched the site in September 2017 with Morgan Freeman warning people that "We are at war" and that Russia has attacked the United States. Others on the committee's advisory board at the time of launch included James Clapper, Max Boot, Charles Sykes, and Norman Ornstein. Additionally, in early November 2020, the advisory board included Evelyn Farkas, Michael Hayden, Michael Morrell, Leon Panetta, and Clint Watts.
In June 2021, Reiner said that he was working on a 10- to 13-episode TV project covering the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. The project, he said, would cover the leaders' childhoods up until the point where their lives cross. Reiner said he's working with writer Ward Parry on the project, which he is calling "The Spy and the Asset".
Personal life Edit
Rob Reiner married actress/director Penny Marshall in 1971. He adopted Marshall's daughter, actress Tracy Reiner (A League of Their Own), from a previous marriage to Michael Henry. Reiner and Marshall divorced in 1981.
Reiner was introduced to his future wife, photographer Michele Singer, while directing When Harry Met Sally. The meeting not only resulted in his decision to change the ending of that film, but he also married Singer in 1989. They have three children, Jake (born 1991), Nick (born 1993), and Romy (born 1997). In 1997, Reiner and Singer founded the "I Am Your Child Foundation", and in 2004, they founded the "Parents' Action for Children", a non-profit organization with a dual purpose: a) to raise awareness of the importance of a child's early years by producing and distributing celebrity-hosted educational videos for parents, and b) to advance public policy through parental education and advocacy.
Reiner has stated that his childhood home was not observantly Jewish, although he did have a bar mitzvah ceremony; Reiner's father Carl acknowledged that he himself had become an atheist as the Holocaust progressed. Rob identified himself as having no religious affiliation on the January 13, 2012, episode of Real Time with Bill Maher and as an atheist. Reiner later told Huffington Post contributor Debra Oliver that while he rejected organized religion, he was sympathetic to the ideas of Buddhism.
In addition to his four children, Reiner has five grandchildren, through his adopted daughter Tracy.
|1984||This Is Spinal Tap||Yes||No||Yes|
|1985||The Sure Thing||Yes||No||No|
|1986||Stand by Me||Yes||No||No|
|1987||The Princess Bride||Yes||Yes||No|
|1989||When Harry Met Sally...||Yes||Yes||No|
|1992||A Few Good Men||Yes||Yes||No|
|1995||The American President||Yes||Yes||No|
|1996||Ghosts of Mississippi||Yes||Yes||No|
|1999||The Story of Us||Yes||Yes||No|
|2003||Alex & Emma||Yes||Yes||No|
|2005||Rumor Has It...||Yes||No||No|
|2007||The Bucket List||Yes||Yes||No|
|2012||The Magic of Belle Isle||Yes||Yes||Uncredited|
|2014||And So It Goes||Yes||Yes||No|
|2017||Shock and Awe||Yes||Yes||No|
As actor Edit
|1967||Enter Laughing||Clark Baxter|
|1969||Halls of Anger||Leaky Couloris|
|1977||Fire Sale||Russel Fikus|
|1979||The Jerk||Truck Driver Picking Up Navin||Uncredited|
|1984||This Is Spinal Tap||Marty DiBergi|
|1987||Throw Momma from the Train||Joel|
|1990||Postcards from the Edge||Joe Pierce|
|1993||Sleepless in Seattle||Jay Mathews|
|1994||Bullets over Broadway||Sheldon Flender|
|Mixed Nuts||Dr. Klinsky|
|1995||For Better or Worse||Dr. Plosner|
|Bye Bye Love||Dr. David Townsend|
|1996||The First Wives Club||Dr. Morris Packman|
|Mad Dog Time||Albert|
|1998||Primary Colors||Izzy Rosenblatt|
|The Muse||Rob Reiner|
|The Story of Us||Stan|
|2001||The Majestic||Studio Executive||Voice role|
|2003||Alex & Emma||Wirschafter|
|Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Rob Reiner|
|2006||Everyone's Hero||Screwie||Voice role|
|2013||The Wolf of Wall Street||Max Belfort|
|2014||And So It Goes||Artie|
|2017||Sandy Wexler||Marty Markowitz|
|Shock and Awe||John Walcott|
|2022||Family Squares||Narrator||Voice role|
|1967||The Smothers Brothers||20 episodes|
|1971||The Partridge Family||1 episode|
|1971–1972||All in the Family||4 episodes|
|1972||The Super||12 episodes; also co-creator|
|1974||Happy Days||Episode: "All the Way"|
|1978||More Than Friends||No||Yes|
|1981||Likely Stories: Vol. 1||Yes||Yes|
|1982||Million Dollar Infield||No||Yes|
As actor Edit
|1966–1967||That Girl||Chuck / Hairdresser / Carl||3 episodes|
|1967||Batman||Delivery Boy||Episode: "The Penguin Declines"|
|The Andy Griffith Show||Joe, The Printer's Apprentice||Episode: "Goober's Contest"|
|The Mothers-In-Law||Joe Turner||Episode: "The Career Girls"|
|1967–1969||Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.||Various||3 episodes|
|1969||The Beverly Hillbillies||Mitch||2 episodes|
|1970||Room 222||Tony||Episode: "Funny Money"|
|1971||The Partridge Family||Snake||Episode: "A Man Called Snake"|
|1971–1978||All in the Family||Michael "Meathead" Stivic||Series regular; 182 episodes|
|1974||The Odd Couple||Sheldn, Myrna's boyfriend||Episode: "The Rain in Spain"|
|1975||Saturday Night Live||Host / Various||Episode: "Rob Reiner"|
|1976||The Rockford Files||Larry 'King' Sturtevant||Episode: "The No-Cut Contract"|
|1978||Free Country||Joseph Bresner||5 episodes|
|More Than Friends||Alan Corkus||Television film|
|1979||Archie Bunker's Place||Michael Stivic||2 episodes|
|1982||Million Dollar Infield||Monte Miller||Television film|
|1987–1990||It's Garry Shandling's Show||Himself||4 episodes|
|1991||Morton & Hayes||Narrator||6 episodes|
|1994||The Larry Sanders Show||Himself (cameo)||Episode: "Doubt of the Benefit"|
|2001||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Himself||Episode: "The Thong"|
|2006||Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip||Himself||2 episodes|
|The Simpsons||Himself (voice)||Episode: "Million-Dollar Abie"|
|2009||Hannah Montana||Himself (cameo)||Episode: "You Gotta Lose This Job"|
|Wizards of Waverly Place||Himself (cameo)||Episode: "Future Harper"|
|2010||30 Rock||Rep. Rob Reiner (cameo)||Episode: "Let's Stay Together"|
|2010–2017||Real Time with Bill Maher||Guest||7 episodes|
|2012–2018||New Girl||Bob Day||10 episodes|
|2013||Mel Brooks: Make a Noise||Himself||American Masters documentary|
|2014||The Case Against 8||Himself||HBO documentary|
|The Comedians||Himself||Episode: "Misdirection"|
|2016||Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You||Himself||American Masters documentary|
|2017||When We Rise||Dr. David Blankenhorn||2 episodes|
|The History of Comedy||Himself||CNN documentary|
|2018||The Good Fight||Judge Josh Brickner||Episode: "Day 422"|
|André the Giant||Himself||HBO documentary|
|2019||The Big Interview||Himself||Episode: "Carl and Rob Reiner"|
|2020||Hollywood||Ace Amberg||4 episodes|
|Home Movie: The Princess Bride||Grandfather / Grandson||2 episodes (as Grandfather);|
Episode: "Chapter Ten: To the Pain!" (as Grandson)
|2022||Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music & Laughter||Himself||Television Special |
Awards and nominations Edit
|1972||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series||All in the Family||Nominated|
|1972||Golden Globe Awards||Supporting Actor - Television||Nominated|
|1973||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series||Nominated|
|1973||Golden Globe Awards||Supporting Actor - Television||Nominated|
|1974||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series||Won|
|1974||Golden Globe Awards||Supporting Actor - Television||Nominated|
|1975||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series||Nominated|
|1975||Golden Globe Awards||Supporting Actor - Television||Nominated|
|1978||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series||Won|
See also Edit
- "Rob Reiner Biography (1947–)". Film Reference. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- "Alumni of the UCLA Film School". Tft.ucla.edu. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- ""Batman" The Penguin Declines (TV Episode 1967)", IMDb, retrieved December 30, 2019
- "Yehey! Entertainment". Yehey.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- "AFI's 10 Top 10". American Film Institute. June 17, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
- "Rob Reiner". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Parker, Trey (December 3, 2003), Butt Out (Animation, Comedy), Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mona Marshall, Eliza Schneider, Braniff, retrieved November 11, 2020
- "Civil Rights Activist: Director Rob Reiner". WeHo Confidential. August 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "Correct the Record: Contributors, 2016 cycle". opensecrets.com. OpenSecrets. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
- "Rob Reiner Says Donald Trump Is Even Worse Than Harvey Weinstein". Observer. October 9, 2017.
- "Committee to Investigate Russia: Advisory Board". Committee to Investigate Russia. Archived from the original on February 11, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
- Johnson, Ted (September 19, 2017). "Rob Reiner Helps Launch Committee to Investigate Russia". Variety. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- "Committee to Investigate Russia: Advisory Board". InvestigateRussia.org website. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- "Committee to Investigate Russia: Advisory Board". InvestigateRussia.org website. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- Kurtz, Judy (April 25, 2019). "Rob Reiner backs Biden's 2020 bid". The Hill. Archived from the original on April 25, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- Pedersen, Erik (June 30, 2021). "Rob Reiner Says He's Working On TV Project About Donald Trump & Vladimir Putin". Deadline. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
- Matthew Gilbert (July 1, 2021). "Rob Reiner creating a Trump-Putin limited series". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
- Abramowitz, p. 291
- Ihnat, Gwen (September 3, 2016). "Rob Reiner on his favorite films, and why he changed the ending of When Harry Met Sally…". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- Lavoie, Richard (2005). It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend. New York: Touchstone. p. xvii. ISBN 978-0-7432-5463-2.
- "Rob Reiner: At last, I'm having what she's having".
- "Funnyman Carl Reiner". May 1, 2013.
- "Debra Ollivier: Rob Reiner On The Magic Of Belle Isle And 'Living Your Life Until You Can't'". HuffPost. June 23, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
- "We're not equal? How are we not equal?" Rob Reiner on Real Time with Bill Maher, in response to Maher's statement, "I would argue atheists are [not considered equal under the law]". Maher then stated, "For a group that is about 17 percent now... no representation in congress..." to which Reiner replied, "You're right about that-that we don't have that representation. I include myself in that same 17 percent...." "Real Time with Bill Maher".
- "Tracy Reiner". IMDb.
- Maslin, Janet (December 11, 1987). "Throw Momma from the Train". The New York Times.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 18, 2015). "Mel Brooks & Jimmy Kimmel Set to Guest Star on FX's 'The Comedians'". Variety.
- Breznican, Anthony (June 26, 2020). "Watch the Celebrity-Filled Fan-Film Version of The Princess Bride". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Matthew, Gilbert (September 19, 2022). "This week's TV: Norman Lear at 100, a comedy about reboots, and a reboot of 'Quantum Leap'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
- Lang, Katricia. "WorldFest-Houston Celebrates 50 Years of the Best in Video, Film and Commercials". Houston Press. Retrieved May 16, 2022.
- Rob Reiner at IMDb
- Rob Reiner at AllMovie
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Rob Reiner Archive of American Television Interview
- American Foundation for Equal Rights
- Parents Action for Children
- Rob Reiner at The Interviews: An Oral History of Television
- The films of Rob Reiner[permanent dead link], Hell Is for Hyphenates, October 31, 2013