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Rob Reiner

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Rob Reiner
Reiner in 2016
Robert Reiner

(1947-03-06) March 6, 1947 (age 77)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Occupation(s)Actor, director, writer, producer
Years active1966–present
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1971; div. 1981)
Michele Singer
(m. 1989)
Children4, including Tracy Reiner
Parent(s)Carl Reiner
Estelle Reiner

Robert Reiner (born March 6, 1947) is an American actor, film director, screenwriter, and producer.

As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence with the role of Mike "Meathead" Stivic on the CBS sitcom All in the Family (1971–1979), a performance that earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards.[1] His other acting credits include Throw Momma from the Train (1987), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), The First Wives Club (1996), Primary Colors (1998), EDtv (1999), Everyone's Hero (2006), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).

Reiner made his directorial film debut with heavy metal mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984). He then earned acclaim directing the romantic comedy The Sure Thing (1985), coming of age drama Stand by Me (1986), fantasy adventure The Princess Bride (1987), romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally... (1989), psychological horror-thriller Misery (1990), military courtroom drama A Few Good Men (1992) which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and romantic comedy-drama The American President (1995). He has earned nominations for four Golden Globe Awards for Best Director,[2] and for three Directors Guild of America Awards.[3]

Early life


Reiner was born into a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York, on March 6, 1947. His parents were Estelle and Carl Reiner. 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.[4]


Reiner (with Sally Struthers, Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton), as Michael Stivic on All in the Family, 1976

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,[5] 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 inspired by the British sitcom Till Death Us Do Part. It 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'."[6] 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.[7] 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,[8] 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.[9] 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).

In December 2023 Reiner opened the primetime CBS special Dick Van Dyke: 98 Years of Magic with a tribute to, and conversation with, Dick Van Dyke.[10]

Political views

Rob Reiner speaking at a Howard Dean rally on October 29, 2003

Reiner has devoted considerable time and energy to liberal activism.[11]

Reiner is a co-founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which initiated the court challenge against California Proposition 8 that banned same-sex marriage in the state.[12]

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. His lobbying, particularly as an anti-smoking advocate, prompted his likeness to be used in a satirical role in a South Park episode titled "Butt Out", in which he is depicted as a morbidly obese, hypocritical tyrant.[13][14] 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 at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2016

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 $10,000 to Correct the Record, a political action committee that supported Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.[15] 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".[16]

Reiner serves on the advisory board of the Committee to Investigate Russia.[17][18] 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.[18] Others on the committee's advisory board at the time of launch included James Clapper, Max Boot, Charles Sykes, and Norman Ornstein.[18][19] Additionally, in early November 2020, the advisory board included Evelyn Farkas, Michael Hayden, Michael Morrell, Leon Panetta, and Clint Watts.[20]

Reiner endorsed Joe Biden for president for the 2020 election.[21]

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 is working with writer Ward Parry on the project, which he is calling The Spy and the Asset.[22][23]

Personal life


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.[24]

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,[25] 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.[26]

Reiner has stated that his childhood home was not observantly Jewish, although he did have a bar mitzvah ceremony;[27] Reiner's father Carl acknowledged that he himself had become an atheist as the Holocaust progressed.[28] Rob identified himself as having no religious affiliation on the January 13, 2012, episode of Real Time with Bill Maher and as an atheist.[29][30] Reiner later told Huffington Post contributor Debra Oliver that while he rejected organized religion, he was sympathetic to the ideas of Buddhism.[29]

In addition to his four children, Reiner has five grandchildren, through his adopted daughter Tracy.[31]




Year Title Director Producer Writer
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
1990 Misery Yes Yes No
1992 A Few Good Men Yes Yes No
1994 North 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
2010 Flipped Yes Yes Yes
2012 The Magic of Belle Isle Yes Yes Uncredited
2014 And So It Goes Yes Yes No
2015 Being Charlie Yes Yes No
2016 LBJ Yes Yes No
2017 Shock and Awe Yes Yes No
2023 Albert Brooks: Defending My Life Yes Yes No
2024 God & Country No Yes No
TBA Spinal Tap II Yes Yes Yes

As actor

Year Title Role Notes
1967 Enter Laughing Clark Baxter
1969 Halls of Anger Leaky Couloris
1970 Where's Poppa? Roger
1971 Summertree Don
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[32] Joel
1990 Postcards from the Edge Joe Pierce
Misery Helicopter Pilot Uncredited
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
1999 EDtv Mr. Whitaker
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
TBA Spinal Tap II Marty DiBergi Filming



TV writer

Year Title Notes
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"

TV movies

Year Title Director Writer
1978 More Than Friends No Yes
1981 Likely Stories: Vol. 1 Yes Yes
1982 Million Dollar Infield No Yes

As actor

Year Title Role Notes
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
2015 Happyish Himself 2 episodes
The Comedians Himself Episode: "Misdirection"[33]
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)[34]
2022 Norman Lear: 100 Years of Music & Laughter Himself Television special[35]
2023 Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic Himself Television special

Awards and nominations



Year Award Category Title Result
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
1976 Nominated
1978 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series Won


Year Award Category Title Result Ref
1986 Independent Spirit Awards Best Director Stand By Me Nominated
1986 Golden Globe Awards Best Director Nominated
1986 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directing - Feature Film Nominated
1987 Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Awards The Princess Bride Won
1988 Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Won
1989 Golden Globe Awards Best Director When Harry Met Sally... Nominated
1989 British Academy Film Awards Best Film Nominated
1989 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directing - Feature Film Nominated
1990 David di Donatello Best Foreign Director Nominated
1992 Academy Awards Best Picture A Few Good Men Nominated
1992 Golden Globe Award Best Director Nominated
1992 Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directing - Feature Film Nominated
1992 Producers Guild of America Outstanding Producer - Feature Film Nominated
1995 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Picture North Nominated
Worst Director Nominated
1995 Golden Globe Awards Best Director The American President Nominated
1996 National Board of Review Best Cast The First Wives Club Won
2001 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Awarded
2010 American Cinema Editors Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Won
2014 Seattle Film Critics Society Best Ensemble Cast The Wolf of Wall Street Nominated
2017 WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival Remi Career Achievement Award Awarded [36]

See also



  1. ^ "Rob Reiner". emmys.com. Television Academy. Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  2. ^ "Rob Reiner". goldenglobes.com. Golden Globe Awards. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  3. ^ "Rob Reiner Director". www.dga.org. Directors Guild of America. Retrieved November 19, 2023.
  4. ^ "Alumni of the UCLA Film School". Tft.ucla.edu. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  5. ^ ""Batman" The Penguin Declines (TV Episode 1967)", IMDb, retrieved December 30, 2019
  6. ^ "Yehey! Entertainment". Yehey.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  7. ^ Ulster, Laurie (October 16, 2020). "7 Surprising Facts About 'The Partridge Family'". biography.com. Biography. Retrieved December 17, 2023.
  8. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10". American Film Institute. June 17, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
  9. ^ "Rob Reiner". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  10. ^ Solzman, Danielle (December 21, 2023). "Dick Van Dyke 98 Years of Magic Airs on CBS". Archived from the original on December 28, 2023. Retrieved December 28, 2023.
  11. ^ Haring, Bruce (August 26, 2022). "Bill Maher Asks A Question Even A Meathead Can't Answer On 'Real Time'". deadline.com. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  12. ^ "Civil Rights Activist: Director Rob Reiner". WeHo Confidential. August 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Parker, Trey (December 3, 2003), Butt Out (Animation, Comedy), Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mona Marshall, Eliza Schneider, Braniff, retrieved November 11, 2020
  14. ^ "Rob Reiner here signing in for my first AMA. Here we go…". Reddit. November 8, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2023.
  15. ^ "Correct the Record: Contributors, 2016 cycle". opensecrets.com. OpenSecrets. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  16. ^ "Rob Reiner Says Donald Trump Is Even Worse Than Harvey Weinstein". Observer. October 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Committee to Investigate Russia: Advisory Board". Committee to Investigate Russia. Archived from the original on February 11, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c 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.
  19. ^ "Committee to Investigate Russia: Advisory Board". InvestigateRussia.org website. Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  20. ^ "Committee to Investigate Russia: Advisory Board". InvestigateRussia.org website. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Pedersen, Erik (June 30, 2021). "Rob Reiner Says He's Working On TV Project About Donald Trump & Vladimir Putin". Deadline. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  23. ^ Matthew Gilbert (July 1, 2021). "Rob Reiner creating a Trump-Putin limited series". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  24. ^ Abramowitz, p. 291
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Lavoie, Richard (2005). It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend. New York: Touchstone. p. xvii. ISBN 978-0-7432-5463-2.
  27. ^ "Rob Reiner: At last, I'm having what she's having". Archived from the original on September 13, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  28. ^ "Funnyman Carl Reiner". May 1, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "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.
  30. ^ "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".
  31. ^ "Tracy Reiner". IMDb.
  32. ^ Maslin, Janet (December 11, 1987). "Throw Momma from the Train". The New York Times.
  33. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (January 18, 2015). "Mel Brooks & Jimmy Kimmel Set to Guest Star on FX's 'The Comedians'". Variety.
  34. ^ Breznican, Anthony (June 26, 2020). "Watch the Celebrity-Filled Fan-Film Version of The Princess Bride". Vanity Fair. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ Lang, Katricia. "WorldFest-Houston Celebrates 50 Years of the Best in Video, Film and Commercials". Houston Press. Retrieved May 16, 2022.