Reiner at the German premiere of The Bucket List, 2008
March 6, 1947
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Occupation||Actor, director, producer|
Penny Marshall (1971–1981; divorced; 1 child)
Michele Singer (1989–present; 3 children)
|Children||4, including Tracy Reiner|
Robert Reiner (born March 6, 1947) is an American actor, director, producer, and activist. As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence with the role of Michael Stivic, son-in-law of Archie and Edith Bunker (played by Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton), on All in the Family. That role earned him two Emmy Awards during the 1970s. As a director, Reiner was recognized by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) with nominations for the coming of age drama comedy Stand by Me, the romantic comedy film When Harry Met Sally..., and the courtroom drama A Few Good Men. He also directed the psychological horror thriller film Misery, the romantic comedy fantasy adventure film The Princess Bride and the heavy metal comedy-mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. He studied at the UCLA Film School.
Reiner was born to a Jewish family in The Bronx, New York, and is the son of Estelle Reiner (née Lebost), an actress, and Carl Reiner, a 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 Lane.
In the late 1960s, Reiner acted in bit roles in several television shows including Batman, The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and The Beverly Hillbillies. He began his career writing for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968 and 1969. A few 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 became closely associated with him, even after he had left the role and went on to build a high-profile career as a director. Reiner has stated, "I could win the Nobel Prize and they'd write 'Meathead wins the Nobel Prize'."
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. Some of these films—Stand by Me, The Princess Bride, and This Is Spinal Tap— remain highly popular with fans, with the latter two being cult classics. 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, such as When Harry Met Sally..., Misery, and his most commercially successful work, A Few Good Men.
He has also been the target of modern satire, notably in a South Park episode entitled "Butt Out". Reiner has made cameos in a number of movies and television shows, including Throw Momma from the Train, Sleepless in Seattle, Bullets Over Broadway, The First Wives Club, Primary Colors, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, New Girl, EDtv, and 30 Rock.
Reiner was introduced to his future wife, photographer Michele Singer, while directing When Harry Met Sally. That meeting not only resulted in his deciding to change the ending of that movie, but he also eventually married Singer in 1989. They have three children. In 1997, Reiner and Singer founded the "I Am Your Child Foundation," now "Parents' Action for Children," a non-profit organization promoting early childhood development by producing and distributing celebrity-hosted educational videos for parents.
Reiner has devoted considerable time and energy to liberal activism in recent years. His lobbying as an anti-smoking advocate in particular, earned his likeness 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. In the end, Prop 82 failed to win approval, garnering only 39.1% support.
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.
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 was criticized by the critically acclaimed animated television series, South Park, for his negative portrayal of tobacco smokers in the media.
Reiner 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.
Rob Reiner, in addition to his four children, has five grandchildren.
- "Alumni of the UCLA Film School". Tft.ucla.edu. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- "Rob Reiner Biography (1947–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- "Yehey! Entertainment". Yehey.com. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- "Rob Reiner". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Abramowitz, p. 291
- "Civil Rights Activist: Director Rob Reiner". WeHo Confidential. August 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "'"Debra Ollivier: Rob Reiner On The Magic Of Belle Isle And 'Living Your Life Until You Can't. Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
- Rob Reiner grandchildren
- Rob Reiner at the Internet Movie Database
- Rob Reiner's biography, awards, and milestones at Hollywood.com
- Rob Reiner Archive of American Television Interview
- American Foundation for Civil Rights at Wehoconfidential.com
- Rob Reiner interview video at the Archive of American Television
- The films of Rob Reiner, Hell Is For Hyphenates, October 31, 2013