Rob Reiner

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This article is about the actor and director. For the Canadian musician, see Robb Reiner.
Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner.0843.jpg
Reiner at the German premiere of The Bucket List, 2008
Born Robert Reiner
(1947-03-06) March 6, 1947 (age 67)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Actor, director, producer
Years active 1959–present
Spouse(s) Penny Marshall (1971–1981; divorced; 1 child)
Michele Singer (1989–present; 3 children)
Children 4, including Tracy Reiner

Robert "Rob" 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.[1]

Early life[edit]

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.[2] 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'."[3]

Rob Reiner at the 1988 Emmy Awards.

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.[4]

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.

Personal life[edit]

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

Rob Reiner married actress/director Penny Marshall in 1971 and adopted Marshall's daughter from a previous marriage, actress Tracy Reiner. Reiner and Marshall divorced in 1981.[5]

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".

Reiner is a co-founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which initiated the court challenge against California Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriage in the state.[6]

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.

Reiner has stated that his childhood home was not observantly Jewish, although he did have a Bar Mitzvah.[7] He identified himself as having no religious affiliation on the January 13, 2012, episode of Real Time with Bill Maher.[8] Reiner later told Huffington Post contributor Debra Oliver that while he rejected organized religion, he was sympathetic to the ideas of Buddhism.[8]

Rob Reiner, in addition to his four children, has five grandchildren.[9]



As director[edit]

Year Film Notes
1984 This Is Spinal Tap Also actor and writer
1985 The Sure Thing
1986 Stand by Me Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best Director
Nominated - Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film
1987 The Princess Bride Also producer
1989 When Harry Met Sally... Also producer
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Film
Nominated - Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film
1992 A Few Good Men Also producer
Nominated - Academy Award for Best Picture
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
Nominated - Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film
1994 North Also producer
1995 The American President Also producer
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Director
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Also producer
1999 The Story of Us Also actor and producer
2003 Alex & Emma Also actor and producer
2005 Rumor Has It...
2007 The Bucket List Also producer
2010 Flipped Also producer and writer
2012 The Magic of Belle Isle Also producer
2014 And So It Goes Also actor and producer

As actor[edit]

Year Film 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 Also director and writer
1987 Throw Momma from the Train[10] Joel
1990 Postcards from the Edge Joe Pierce
1990 Misery Helicopter pilot Uncredited
Also director and producer
1993 Sleepless in Seattle Jay
1994 Bullets Over Broadway Sheldon Flender
1994 Mixed Nuts Dr. Klinsky
1995 For Better or Worse Dr. Plosner
1995 Bye Bye Love Dr. David Townsend
1996 The First Wives Club Dr. Morris Packman National Board of Review Award for Best Cast
1998 Primary Colors Izzy Rosenblatt
1999 EDtv Mr. Whitaker
1999 The Muse Rob Reiner
1999 The Story of Us Stan Also director and producer
2001 The Majestic Studio executive Voice role
2003 Alex & Emma Wirschafter Also director and producer
2003 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 Also director and producer


As actor, writer, or director[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Mothers-In-Law Joe Turner TV series
One episode
1967 Batman Delivery Boy TV series
One episode
1967 The Smothers Brothers Writer only
TV series
20 episodes
1967 The Andy Griffith Show Joe, The Printer's Apprentice TV series
One episode
1967-1969 Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Various TV series
3 episodes
1969 The Beverly Hillbillies Mitch TV series
2 episodes
1971 The Partridge Family Snake TV series
One episode
1971-1978 All in the Family Michael Stivic TV series regular
Actor - 183 episodes
Writer - 4 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1974)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1978)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1972)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1973)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (1975)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television (1972)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television (1973)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television (1974)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television (1976)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television (1977)
1972 The Super Co-creator and writer
1974 Happy Days TV series
Co-wrote the first episode
1974 The Rockford Files Larry 'King' Sturtevant TV series
One episode
1974 The Odd Couple Sheldn, Myrna's boyfriend TV series
One episode
1978 Free Country Joseph Bresner TV series
5 episodes
1979 Archie Bunker's Place Michael Stivic TV series
2 episodes
1981 Likely Stories: Vol. 1 TV movie
Writer and director
1982 Million Dollar Infield Monte Miller TV movie
Also writer
2012-2014 New Girl Bob Day TV series
5 episodes

As self[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1973 The $10,000 Pyramid Guest as himself on debut week TV series
5 episodes
1975 Saturday Night Live Host/Various TV series
One episode
1987-1990 It's Garry Shandling's Show Himself TV series
4 episodes
1991 Morton & Hayes' Narrator TV series
6 episodes
1994 The Larry Sanders Show Himself TV series
One episode
2001 Curb Your Enthusiasm Himself TV series
One episode
2006 The Simpsons Himself TV series
One episode
Voice role
2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Himself TV series
One episode
2009 Hannah Montana Himself TV series
One episode
2009 Wizards of Waverly Place Himself TV series
One episode
2010 30 Rock Rep. Rob Reiner TV series
One episode
2010-2013 Real Time with Bill Maher Guest TV series
3 episodes


  1. ^ "Alumni of the UCLA Film School". Retrieved February 24, 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Rob Reiner Biography (1947–)". Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Yehey! Entertainment". Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Rob Reiner". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ Abramowitz, p. 291
  6. ^ "Civil Rights Activist: Director Rob Reiner". WeHo Confidential. August 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Debra Ollivier: Rob Reiner On The Magic Of Belle Isle And 'Living Your Life Until You Can't'". Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  9. ^ Rob Reiner grandchildren
  10. ^ Maslin, Janet (1987-12-11). "Throw Momma from the Train". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]