Carl Reiner was born in New York in 1922. He was a shy child but drawn to the dream of acting, joining a theatre company when he was 17. He served in WWII first as a radio operator and then as an entertainer for the troops. After the war he toured and then had a run on Broadway in musical comedy. Reiner is best known, however, for his role in comedy. As well as his work in stand-up, he created such well-loved and perennial television series as The Dick Van Dyke show, and All in the Family.
Estelle Lebost was an actress and jazz singer, born in 1914. She had one of the most quoted lines in movie history in When Harry Met Sally. Her line "I'll have what she's having." is ranked 33rd in the American Film Institute's top movie quotations. Estelle also became a cabaret singer in the 1960s and worked until a few years before her death. A woman of many talents, she was an artist as well as an anti-war activist and she designed the famous Vietnam-era poster that read, “War is not healthy for children and other living things.”
Carl and Estelle met when he was performing in the Catskills and she was designing stage sets. While Carl was serving in WWII, Estelle's studies of design led her to a job draughting blueprints for submarines. They were married on Christmas Eve, 1943 when Carl was home on leave. He was 21 and she was 29.
They had three children, Rob, Annie and Lucas.
In an interview discussing his father's creation of the Dick Van Dyke show, Rob Reiner said of his father “Basically he wrote his own life,” Even the name of the community and street that the Petries occupied was the same as the Reiners lived on. So, it would follow, of course, that “My mother was Mary Tyler Moore, yes,”
When asked what kept their marriage going for 65 years, Carl Reiner said his wife had the perfect answer to that question. She had answered once with the remark.. "Marry someone who can stand you." Carl went on to add "And that's absolutely true! There are many, many reasons to break up but if you can stand the worst of what they do, why break up? You're only going to get someone who will annoy you in another way so whatever little annoyances there are, you can stand that. We were able to stand each other very, very well."